Arkansas’ unemployment rate rose by one-tenth of a percentage point in August to 7.5 percent, the first increase since March. The state Department of Workforce
Services said the state’s nonfarm payroll jobs decreased by 3,400. The biggest drop came in educational and health services, which lost 2,300 jobs. Manufacturing lost
1,000 jobs; leisure and hospitality lost 1,100 jobs; and professional and business services gained 1,500 jobs. Arkansas’ 7.5 percent rate is slightly lower than it was a year ago, and below the national rate of 9.6 percent. AP
As of Sept. 21, only 356 people had applied for money from a $100 million fund BP PLC set up to help deepwater rig workers after a federal moratorium on drilling prompted by the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Up to 9,000 people had been expected to seek grants of $3,000 to $30,000. A spokesman for the Gulf Coast Restoration and Protection Foundation, which is running the program, told The Associated Press that many rig workers are being kept on the job by their employers, despite the moratorium. Grants were expected to be limited to those who worked on the 33 rigs affected by the moratorium. But with so much money apparently left over, the charity plans to offer a second round of grants – this time to workers who support the deepwater rigs, such as people on supply boats and pilots who provide helicopter transportation to rigs. The charity began accepting applications on Sept. 1. Gulf rig workers had until Sept. 30 to apply for the initial round of funding.
The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America’s (PCI) annual Insurance Compensation Survey shows that property/casualty insurance companies are projecting average salary budget increases of 3.1 percent in 2011, which is slightly higher than the 2.8 percent increase reported in 2010. The PCI Insurance Compensation Survey includes information for more than 60 benchmark jobs in the property/casualty insurance industry. This year 157 companies participated in the survey.