Arkansas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose one-tenth of a percentage point from 7.2 percent in June to 7.3 percent in July. However, the jobless rate in all seven of the state’s metropolitan areas, including Pine Bluff, dropped in July.
Labor force data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated Arkansas’ civilian labor force declined 3,400, a result of 1,400 more unemployed and 4,800 fewer employed Arkansans. The United States’ jobless rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point in July to 8.3 percent.
Arkansas’ Department of Workforce Services said the minor rate increase fell within historical trends for July. More Arkansans were employed in July than in July 2011.
Arkansas jobless rates by metropolitan area:
• Northwest Arkansas had the lowest rate at 6.1 percent, down from 6.8 percent in July 2011;
• The Little Rock and Texarkana metropolitan areas each had unemployment rate of 7 percent in July, down from 7.5 percent in July 2011 for Little Rock and 8.1 percent in July 2011 for Texarkana;
• Pine Bluff, 9.8 percent, down from 10.9 percent; Fort Smith, 8.5 percent, down from 8.8 percent; Hot Springs, 8 percent, down from 8.3 percent; and Jonesboro, 7.6 percent, down from 8.1 percent.