Arkansas' unemployment rate is now below 5 percent for the first time in nearly 15 years



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LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Arkansas' unemployment rate is now below 5 percent for the first time in nearly 15 years.

The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services says the state's jobless rate was 4.8 percent in December. That's down two-tenths of a percentage point from November's rate of 5 percent.

In December, Arkansas saw the most gains in the trade, transportation and utilities sector, which added 2,500 jobs. Nearly half of those jobs came in retail trade because of the holiday shopping season.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Arkansas last saw an unemployment rate below 5 percent in June 2001, when the rate was 4.9 percent.

The national unemployment rate was 5 percent in December.

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