- Associated Press - Friday, March 25, 2016

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas’ unemployment rate is continuing its steady decline, coming in at 4.2 percent in February.

The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services said Friday that Arkansas’ rate is below the national unemployment rate of 4.9 percent. Arkansas’ jobless rate in January was 4.4 percent.

Officials say seven major industry sectors posted gains, led by the government sector, which added 5,000 jobs.

The bulk of those jobs were from public school employees returning from winter break. Leisure and hospitality jobs increased by 2,700 in February while educational and health services added 1,100 jobs. The professional and business services sector also increased by 1,100 jobs.

The state says that Arkansas’ nonfarm jobs have increased by 27,200 since February 2015.

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