- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 28, 2014

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - State officials say Arkansas’ unemployment rate dipped slightly to 7.4 percent in December, thanks to gains in employment and an increase in the state’s labor force.

The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services said Tuesday that December’s rate was down one-tenth of a percentage point from November. The agency says five sectors reported job losses in December, with the largest drop coming in leisure and hospitality positions.

But the trade, transportation and utilities sector increased by 1,600 jobs, with most of the hiring happened at retail stores for the holidays.

Arkansas’ unemployment rate remains above the national average of 6.7 percent in December.

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