Labor Force Down Across State, Five Metro Areas in July

by Lee Hogan  on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014 10:13 am  

While the number of unemployed workers and the unemployment rate in Arkansas and its six metropolitan areas was lower in July than a year ago, the labor force was also down in Arkansas and five metropolitan areas.

Overall, the labor force was down by 25,800 in the state, according to not seasonably adjusted data from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state's pool of unemployed workers dropped 20,000 to 88,300 in July.

More: Read the entire report here (PDF).

The Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway metropolitan area, the biggest in the state, saw the sharpest decline, down by 6,100. The metro area also saw the biggest drop in unemployed workers, 4,300.

Jonesboro was the only metro to see a rise in its labor force over the year, adding 100 jobs between July 2013 and last month. Its number of unemployed workers dropped by 900 in the same time period.

The state's unemployment rate dropped 1.4 percentage points over the year, coming in at 6.7 percent in July. That is 0.2 percentage points higher than the national rate, 6.5 percent.

While the Pine Bluff metro area saw a 1.7 percent drop in its unemployment rate, it still had the highest rate at 9.2 percent in July. It was up 0.6 percent from June.

The Fayetteville-Sprindale-Rogers metro area had the lowest unemployment rate in the state in July, 5.3 percent. It was down 1.0 percent from a year ago, and up 0.4 percent from June.

Nonfarm payroll jobs were up across the state and in all metro areas besides Fort Smith.

In Arkansas, the sector was up 17,000 jobs in July to more than 1.1 million. The Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway metro area saw the biggest jump of the metros with 5,200 more jobs in July than a year ago.



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