State officials say Arkansas' unemployment rate was 7.7 percent in December, down two tenths of a percentage point from the month before.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Workforce Services says the number of employed Arkansans increased for the fourth straight month. That's despite the fact that Arkansas' nonfarm jobs dropped by about 4,600 in December.
The agency says the biggest drops happened in the leisure and hospitality sector, where there was a decrease of 2,600 mostly seasonal jobs. Jobs in government fell by 1,300, primarily because of winter breaks at public schools.
The largest increase happened in trade, transportation and utilities, boosted by 2,300 jobs in the retail sector that were added for the holiday shopping season.
The national jobless rate was 8.5 percent in December.