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Unemployment Rates in Arkansas Cities Vary Widely

1 min read

Unemployment rates rose slightly in Arkansas metro areas in June, but rates are still lower than a year ago, notes Michael Pakko, chief economist at the Institute for Economic Advancement at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported earlier this month that unemployment rates were lower than a year earlier in 285 of the nation’s 387 metropolitan areas, “and all eight metro areas that cover parts of Arkansas were in that total,” Pakko said on his Arkansas Economist blog.

Year-over-year changes ranged from a decline of 0.7 percentage point in Fort Smith and Texarkana to a drop of 1.6 percentage points in Pine Bluff.

The chart “Payroll Employment in Arkansas MSA” illustrates the trends of Arkansas’ metro areas since the 2008-09 recession. “Fayetteville, Jonesboro and Little Rock are the only three metro areas to have higher employment now than at the end of 2007,” Pakko said.

Unemployment Rates in Arkansas MSAs – June 2016
(Not Seasonally Adjusted)

  June 2015 June 2016 Change
Fayetteville – Springdale – Rogers 4.1 3.1 -1.0
Fort Smith 5.7 5.0 -0.7
Hot Springs 5.8 4.5 -1.3
Jonesboro 5.1 3.7 -1.4
Little Rock – North Little Rock – Conway 4.8 3.7 -1.1
Memphis 6.9 5.7 -1.2
Pine Bluff 7.3 5.7 -1.6
Texarkana 5.2 4.5 -0.7
Arkansas statewide 5.5 4.2 -1.3
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