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Arkansas posts 1st employment gain since March; state's jobless rate now at 6.2 percent

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LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — State officials say Arkansas' unemployment rate dipped to 6.2 percent in September. That's down from 7.7 percent a year earlier.

The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services says September's jobless rate dropped by one-tenth of a percentage point from August. The agency says the number of employed Arkansans rose by 4,500 last month in the first employment gain since March.

Five industry sectors posted job gains, with employment in government rising by 13,100 last month. Much of the increase is attributed to seasonal hiring at public schools. Jobs in educational and health services increased by 2,300, while jobs in professional and business services rose by 2,000.

The agency says the leisure and hospitality sector lost 1,100 jobs last month, primarily because of the closure of summer-related businesses.

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