Arkansas' unemployment claims increase

(The Center Square) – Arkansas' initial unemployment claims rose to 1,079 during the week ending April 9, an increase of 91 from the previous week, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

The state's insured unemployment claims for the week ending April 2 dropped by 1,862 claims from 7,973 to 6,111.

Arkansas mirrored the rest of the U.S. in experiencing an increase in initial claims and a decrease in insured unemployment claims. Initial claims in the U.S. increased by 18,000 to 185,000 for the week ending April 9, according to the DOL. The number of insured unemployment claims in the U.S declined by 48,000 to 1,475,000.

Arkansas' unemployment rate remains lower than the national average at 3.1% for February compared with the national rate of 3.6%, according to statistics from Arkansas Division of Workforce Services.

The lowest unemployment rates are found in the northeastern corner of the state, where Benton and Washington counties have a rate of 2.6%, according to Arkansas Division of Workforce Services.

The highest rates are in the southeastern part of the state. Chicot County's unemployment rate was 8.3%, and Phillips County had the second-highest unemployment rate of 7.8%.

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