June jobless rates in all Arkansas metro areas lower than June 2015, all up compared to May

by Talk Business & Politics staff (staff2@talkbusiness.net) 12 views 

Editor’s note: This story is a component of The Compass Report. The quarterly Compass Report is managed by Talk Business & Politics, and sponsored by Lowell-based Zero Mountain Logistics, a subsidiary of Fort Smith-based Zero Mountain. Supporting sponsors of The Compass Report are Cox Communications and the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce.
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The jobless rate for all metro areas in or connected to Arkansas rose in June compared to May, but year-over-year job growth continued in the state’s largest metro areas, with Northwest Arkansas seeing a 5.16% gain and central Arkansas up almost 4%.

Jobless rates ranged from a low of 3.1% in Northwest Arkansas to a high of 5.7% in the Pine Bluff and Memphis-West Memphis metros, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data posted Wednesday (Aug. 3). (See charts at the end of this report.)

The BLS data – which is subject to revision for all metro areas – showed there were 29,319 jobs created between June 2015 and June 2016 in the state’s four metro areas that are covered by Talk Business & Politics’ The Compass Report. Central Arkansas had the most with 13,069 new jobs (up 3.92% compared to June 2015), followed by Northwest Arkansas with 12,672 (up 5.16%), the Jonesboro metro with 2,318 new jobs (up 3.96%), and the Fort Smith metro with 1,260 new jobs (up 1.08%).

There were an estimated 48,742 new jobs in Arkansas between June 2015-June 2016, according to the federal numbers, which means the four metro areas accounted for 60.15% of new jobs in June.

Following are key jobs data on the four metro areas.

CENTRAL ARKANSAS METRO
The central Arkansas metro area jobless rate was 3.7% in June, up from 3.4% in May and below the 4.8% in June 2015.

The size of the central Arkansas regional workforce during June was estimated at 359,122, above the 354,812 in May, and 2.45% more than the 349,563 in June 2015.

compassreport2016zeromtlogCentral Arkansas’ metro employment of 345,719 in June was above the 342,739 in May, and up compared to the 332,650 during June 2015. The June employment number again set a new record for the state’s capitol city metro.

The number of unemployed in the region totaled an estimated 13,403 during June, up from the 12,073 during May, but well below the 16,913 in June 2015.

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS METRO
The Northwest Arkansas metro jobless rate was 3.1% in June, up from 2.8% in May, but below the 4.1% in June 2015. The historic jobless low for the metro is 2.1%, and was last reached in November 1999.

The size of the Northwest Arkansas regional workforce during June was 266,328, well above the 263,569 during May, and 4.14% higher than the 255,723 in June 2015.

The number of employed in Northwest Arkansas totaled 257,978 in June, above the 256,186 in May, and up from the 245,306 employed in June 2015. The June employment number set a new record for the region, beating the previous record set in April of 257,305 jobs.

Unemployed persons in the region totaled an estimated 8,350 during June, up from the 7,383 during May, but below the 10,417 during June 2015.

FORT SMITH METRO
Fort Smith’s metro jobless rate was 5% in June, up from 4.6% in May, but lower than the 5.7% in June 2015.

The size of the Fort Smith regional workforce during June was 123,083, up from 121,906 during May, but just below the 122,779 in June 2015. The labor force reached a revised high of 132,004 in June 2007, meaning the June workforce size is down 6.75% from the peak number.

The number of employed in the Fort Smith region totaled 116,990 in June, up from the 116,302 in May, and up 1.08% from the 115,730 employed in June 2015. The number of employed in the area is down 6.7% compared to the high of 125,426 in June 2006.

Unemployed persons in the region totaled an estimated 6,093 during June, up from the 5,604 during May, and below the 7,049 during June 2015.

JONESBORO
The Jonesboro metro area jobless rate was 3.7% in June, up from 3.2% in May and below the 5.1% in June 2015. April marked the first time the metro posted a rate below 3%, when it hit 2.8%.

The size of the Jonesboro regional workforce during June was estimated at 63,096, above the 62,475 in May, and above the 61,587 in June 2015.

Jonesboro metro employment during June was 60,767, just above the 60,456 in May, and up 3.96% compared to the 58,449 during June 2015. June marked a record for employment in the Jonesboro metro, beating the record set in May.

compasssponsors2014The number of unemployed in the region totaled an estimated 2,329 during June, up from 2,019 during May, and below the 3,138 during June 2015.

NATIONAL NUMBERS
Unemployment rates were lower in June than a year earlier in 285 of the 387 metropolitan areas, higher in 75 areas, and unchanged in 27 areas, noted the broad BLS report. The lowest metro rate was 2.3% in Sioux Falls, S.D., and the highest metro rate was 23.7% in El Centro, Calif.

The U.S. unemployment rate in June was 4.9%, up from 4.7% in May and down from 5.3% from a year earlier. Arkansas’ jobless rate was 3.8% in June, unchanged from May and down from 5.3% in June 2015.

ARKANSAS METRO AREAS
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers
June 2016: 3.1%
May 2016: 2.8%
June 2015: 4.1%

Fort Smith
June 2016: 5%
May 2016: 4.6%
June 2015: 5.7%

Hot Springs
June 2016: 4.5%
May 2016: 4.1%
June 2015: 5.8%

Jonesboro
June 2016: 3.7%
May 2016: 3.2%
June 2015: 5.1%

Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway
June 2016: 3.7%
May 2016: 3.4%
June 2015: 4.8%

Memphis-West Memphis
June 2016: 5.7%
May 2016: 4.5%
June 2015: 6.9%

Pine Bluff
June 2016: 5.7%
May 2016: 5.2%
June 2015: 7.3%

Texarkana
June 2016: 4.5%
May 2016: 4%
June 2015: 5.2%

CENTRAL ARKANSAS METRO HISTORY
Past annual average unemployment rates
2015: 4.7%
2014: 5.5%
2013: 6.5%
2012: 6.7%
2011: 7.3%
2010: 7.2%
2009: 6.7%
2008: 4.7%
2007: 4.6%
2006: 4.6%
2005: 4.7%
2004: 5.1%
2003: 5.2%
2002: 4.9%
2001: 4.3%
2000: 3.7%

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS METRO AREA HISTORY
Past annual average unemployment rates
2015: 3.8%
2014: 4.6%
2013: 5.6%
2012: 5.9%
2011: 6.5%
2010: 6.7%
2009: 6.4%
2008: 4.2%
2007: 3.8%
2006: 3.5%
2005: 3.4%
2004: 3.8%
2003: 3.8%
2002: 3.4%
2001: 3.1%
2000: 3.4%

FORT SMITH METRO HISTORY
Past annual average unemployment rates
2015: 5.5%
2014: 6.2%
2013: 8%
2012: 8.1%
2011: 8.8%
2010: 8.5%
2009: 8.3%
2008: 5.1%
2007: 5.2%
2006: 4.8%
2005: 4.6%
2004: 5.2%
2003: 5.6%
2002: 5%
2001: 4.4%
2000: 3.7%

JONESBORO METRO HISTORY
Past annual average unemployment rates
2015: 4.8%
2014: 5.8%
2013: 7%
2012: 7.2%
2011: 7.8%
2010: 7.8%
2009: 7.4%
2008: 5.2%
2007: 5.4%
2006: 5.2%
2005: 5.1%
2004: 5.7%
2003: 6%
2002: 5.7%
2001: 5.3%
2000: 4.2%

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