Jobless Ratio Stands at 0.6 in Arkansas

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics last month issued its first-ever report on state-level estimates for the Job Openings & Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, Michael Pakko, the state economic forecaster, recently noted on his blog,

“The national JOLTS data have been an invaluable tool for labor economists in recent years, facilitating the examination of labor market flows in more detail than the traditional unemployment statistics,” he said.

The ratio of unemployed people to job openings has been steadily declining this year, falling below 1.0 in July. That ratio has followed a similar path for Arkansas.

“The number of unemployed per job opening had a much lower peak in Arkansas during the height of the pandemic (2.7 vs. 5.0 nationally), and the decline in Arkansas has paralleled the U.S. data,” Pakko said. “The ratio fell below 1.0 for the U.S. in May, while the ratio in Arkansas has been below 1.0 since January. As of August (the most recent data available), the unemployed/job-openings ratio was 0.8 in the U.S. data and 0.6 for Arkansas.”