by Lee Hogan
Posted 3/21/2014 10:21 am
Updated 6 months ago
Arkansas' unemployment rate dropped five-tenths of a percentage point in January compared to numbers from a year ago.
The state's jobless rate fell to 8.1 percent in January compared to 8.6 a year ago. In all, about 105,100 Arkansans were without work this January.
The Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers metro area enjoyed the lowest unemployment rate at 5.9 percent, with about 13,500 without jobs. That was down from 6.4 a year ago.
The Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway metro was next with a 7.1 percent jobless rate, with about 23,600 people -- the largest pool of unemployed workers in the state. The metro also had the largest pool of employed workers in the state: 333,400 in January. The Little Rock metro area's unemployment rate was down three-tenths of a percentage point from 7.4 percent in January 2013.
Both Jonesboro and Fort Smith had a 7.8 percent unemployment rate. There were about 9,900 people out of work in Fort Smith, and 4,600 in Jonesboro.
Fort Smith saw a 1.4 percent drop in its unemployment rate of 9.2 percent from one year ago, the largest of the state's metro areas. Jonesboro's jobless rate was down four-tenths of a percentage point from 8.2 percent.
The Hot Springs metro area followed with an 8.1 unemployment rate, or about 3,300 unemployed. The unemployed pool was the lowest in the state.
The Pine Bluff metro was the only to not see a lower unemployment rate from the previous year, and the only with a jobless rate above 10 percent. Pine Bluff endured a 10.8 unemployment rate in January, the same from one year ago. The rate averages out to about 4,400 people.
Across the country, unemployment rates were higher in three metropolitan areas and unchanged in two. Thirty areas had jobless rates of at least 10 percent, and 41 areas had rates below 5.0 percent.