NWA jobless rate rises in July

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 30 views 

The good news is that all eight metro areas in or connected to Arkansas had jobless rate decreases in July compared to July 2011. Unfortunately, seven of the eight saw an increase in the jobless rate between June and July.

Northwest Arkansas’ metro was 6.1% in July, and ended four consecutive months below 6%. The June jobless rate in the metro area was 5.7%, and was 6.8% in July 2012, according to figures released Wednesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

During July the lowest metro jobless rate was in Northwest Arkansas and the highest rate was 9.8% in Pine Bluff. The Memphis-West Memphis metro jobless rate during July was 9.6%, unchanged from June.

“The not-seasonally-adjusted figures showed some sharp increases from the previous month, but these changes were driven by the typical summer upturn associated with students and teachers being off for the summer,” said Michael Pakko, University of Arkansas Institute for Economic Advance chief economist and state economic forecaster.

Nationwide, July jobless rates were higher in 276 of the 372 U.S. metro areas compared to July 2011.

The U.S. jobless rate during July was 8.3%, up from 8.2% in June and below 9.1% during July 2011. Oklahoma’s jobless rate was 4.9% in July, up from 4.7% in June and well below the 6.2% during July 2011. The jobless rate in Missouri during July was 7.2%, up from 7.1% during June and below the 8.6% during July 2011.

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS METRO NUMBERS
The number of employed during July was an estimated 226,923, down from 228,876 in June and up compared to the 216,369 employed in the region during July 2011.

Unemployed persons in the region totaled 14,863 during July, up from a revised 13,783 during June and below the 15,702 during July 2011.

The Northwest Arkansas manufacturing sector employed an estimated 28,000 in July, unchanged from June, and ahead of the 27,600 during July 2011. Sector employment is down more than 18% from more than a decade ago when January 2002 manufacturing employment in the metro area stood at 34,300.

Jobs in the Trade, Transportation and Utilities sector — the region’s largest job sector —  totaled 46,600 in July, down from 47,100 during June, and up from the 46,000 during July 2011. Employment in the sector is off from the high of 50,500 posted in December 2006.

Employment in the region’s tourism industry was 20,600 during July, down from 20,800 in June and up from 19,200 during July 2011. June employment in the sector set a new record.

In Education & Health Services, employment was 23,100 during July, down from 23,500 during June and up from 22,100 during July 2011.

ARKANSAS METRO AREAS
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers

July 2012: 6.1%
June 2012: 5.7%
July 2011: 6.8%

Fort Smith
July 2012: 8.5%
June 2012: 7.7%
July 2011: 8.8%

Hot Springs
July 2012: 8%
June 2012: 7.6%
July 2011: 8.3%

Jonesboro
July 2012: 7.6%
June 2012: 7.1%
July 2011: 8.1%

Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway
July 2012: 7%
June 2012: 6.6%
July 2011: 7.5%

Memphis-West Memphis
July 2012: 9.6%
June 2012: 9.6%
July 2011: 10.3%

Pine Bluff
July 2012: 9.8%
June 2012: 9.2%
July 2011: 10.9%

Texarkana
July 2012: 7%
June 2012: 6.9%
July 2011: 8.1%

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS METRO AREA HISTORY
Past annual average unemployment rates
2011: 6.2%
2010: 6.5%
2009: 6.1%
2008: 4.1%
2007: 3.8%
2006: 3.6%
2005: 3.3%
2004: 3.8%
2003: 3.7%
2002: 3.3%
2001: 3%
2000: 2.9%

FORT SMITH METRO AREA HISTORY
Past annual average unemployment rates
2011: 8.6%
2010: 8.2%
2009: 7.9%
2008: 4.8%
2007: 5.3%
2006: 4.9%
2005: 4.5%
2004: 5.2%
2003: 5.5%
2002: 5%
2001: 4.2%
2000: 3.7%