Arkansas unemployment rate remained at 4.4 percent for the third straight month, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, released Friday by the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services.

Arkansas’s unemployment rate is three and four-tenths of a percentage point lower than the national rate, which rose from 5.8 percent in May to 5.9 percent in June.

“Our 4.4 percent unemployment rate continues to be significantly below the national rate of 5.9 percent,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Friday. “In fact, the national rate has been moving in the wrong direction. While employers are searching for workers to keep their businesses in operation or to expand, the shortage of workers reflects a hesitancy of some to return to the workforce. This hesitancy should diminish in the coming months as federal stimulus money slows, and our workers transition from training into full employment.”