Majority of Arkansas job losses during June from three metro areas

by Michael Tilley ([email protected]) 994 views 

June jobless rates in all eight metro areas in or connected to Arkansas fell compared to May, but continue to be higher than rates in June 2019. The biggest improvement was in the Fort Smith metro where the jobless rate fell from 11.5% in May to 7.4% in June.

Arkansas’ three largest in-state metro regions – central Arkansas, Fort Smith metro, and Northwest Arkansas – combined for 58,020 job losses in June compared with June 2019. The losses in the three metros account for 55% of all jobs losses in the state during June.

The June numbers posted Wednesday (July 29) from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show the third full month of COVID-19 disruption on the state economy. The number of unemployed in the central Arkansas metro was 30,991 in June, up from the 12,176 in June 2019, but down from the 36,235 unemployed in May. The region’s jobless rate was 8.9% in June, well above the 3.4% in June 2019, but better than the 10.2% in May

Northwest Arkansas had 17,424 unemployed in June, up from the 7,694 in June 2019 but down from the 19,885 in May. The region’s jobless rate was 6.4%, up from 2.7% in June 2019 and down from 7.2% in May. The Fort Smith metro had 8,522 unemployed in June, up from the 4,690 in June 2019, and also up from the 13,713 in May. The Fort Smith metro jobless rate was 7.4%, up from 3.9% in June 2019, and down from 11.5% in May.

Northwest Arkansas had the lowest metro jobless rate in June (6.4%), and the Memphis-West Memphis area had the highest at 11.9%. Arkansas’ June jobless rate was 8%, down from 9.6% in May, but above the 3.6% in June 2019.

University of Arkansas Little Rock economist Michael Pakko said the June figures include May revisions that show better numbers for three metro areas.

“The May revisions showed larger employment gains than originally reported in Fort Smith, Hot Springs, and Memphis. Other metro areas saw downward revisions. The employment gains continued into June, with increases ranging from 0.7% in Jonesboro to 3.1% in Hot Springs. Since the Pre-COVID-19 peak in February, employment is down in all of Arkansas’ metro areas, with the magnitude of the declines ranging from -7.2% in Memphis to -2.8% in Pine Bluff,” Pakko noted in his report.

NATIONAL NUMBERS
Unemployment rates were higher in June than a year earlier in 388 of the 389 metro areas and lower in 1 area, according to the BLS data. The report also showed that 218 areas had jobless rates of less than 10% and 6 areas had rates of at least 20%.

Atlantic City-Hammonton, N.J., had the highest unemployment rate in June at 34.3%. Logan, Utah-Idaho, and Idaho Falls, Idaho, had the lowest unemployment rates at 3.5% and 3.6%, respectively.

METRO JOBS DATA
Following are labor market data for the eight metro areas.
• Northwest Arkansas
Labor force
June 2020: 273,583
June 2019: 280,387

Employment
June 2020: 256,159
June 2019: 272,693

Unemployed
June 2020: 17,424
June 2019: 7,694

Jobless rate
June 2020: 6.4%
June 2019: 2.7%

• Fort Smith metro
Labor force
June 2020: 115,429
June 2019: 120,421

Employment
June 2020: 106,901
June 2019: 115,731

Unemployed
June 2020: 8,522
June 2019: 4,690

Jobless rate
June 2020: 7.4%
June 2019: 3.9%

• Hot Springs
Labor force
June 2020: 41,374
June 2019: 41,985

Employment
June 2020: 36,944
June 2019: 40,295

Unemployed
June 2020: 4,430
June 2019: 1,690

Jobless rate
June 2020: 10.7%
June 2019: 4%

• Jonesboro
Labor force
June 2020: 64,898
June 2019: 66,185

Employment
June 2020: 59,887
June 2019: 64,047

Unemployed
June 2020: 5,011
June 2019: 2,138

Jobless rate
June 2020: 7.7%
June 2019: 3.2%

• Central Arkansas
Labor force
June 2020: 349,070
June 2019: 362,917

Employment
June 2020: 318,079
June 2019: 350,741

Unemployed
June 2020: 35,796
June 2019: 10,789

Jobless rate
June 2020: 8.9%
June 2019: 3.4%

• Memphis/West Memphis
Labor force
June 2020: 620,350
June 2019: 651,549

Employment
June 2020: 546,528
June 2019: 620,093

Unemployed
June 2020: 73,822
June 2019: 31,456

Jobless rate
June 2020: 11.9%
June 2019: 4.8%

• Pine Bluff
Labor force
June 2020: 34,233
June 2019: 35,190

Employment
June 2020: 30,987
June 2019: 33,171

Unemployed
June 2020: 3,246
June 2019: 2,019

Jobless rate
June 2020: 9.5%
June 2019: 5.7%

• Texarkana (Arkansas-Texas)
Labor force
June 2020: 64,271
June 2019: 66,014

Employment
June 2020: 58,951
June 2019: 62,999

Unemployed
June 2020: 5,320
June 2019: 3,015

Jobless rate
June 2020: 8.3%
June 2019: 4.6%

Facebook Comments