Local unemployment up in June

Data released by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services on Tuesday showed a June unemployment rate for Pine Bluff of 12.3 percent, which is up from the May rate of 11.2 percent and the 10.3 percent April number.

Similarly, the June 10.7 percent unemployment rate for Jefferson County as a whole was up from the May rate of 9.9 percent and the April showing of 9.4 percent.

The statewide rate for June was 7.3 percent, which is unchanged from the previous month.

“The number of employed declined slightly in June, reducing the size of the civilian labor force.” ADWS Communications Director Kimberly Friedman said. “This movement was not enough to affect the unemployment rate, which remained stable at 7.3 percent.”

The statewide unemployment rate for April was 7.2 percent.

The highest June local unemployment rate in the state was registered in West Memphis at 12.4 percent while the lowest rate of 5.3 percent unemployment was shared by Bentonville and Sherwood.

At a June rate of 13 percent, Mississippi County had the highest unemployment rate of Arkansas’ 75 counties; while Carroll County had the lowest unemployment rate at 5.3 percent.

The nationwide unemployment rate for June came in at 7.6 percent according to the U.S. Department of Labor, which equaled the May rate and was up slightly from the April rate of 7.5 percent.