Unemployment rates in Arkansas metropolitan areas showed mixed changes in April, increasing by one-tenth of a percent in Fort Smith, Little Rock and Memphis and declining by one-tenth in Hot Springs and Pine Bluff. Since April of 2017 unemployment rates are up slightly in most of Arkansas’ metro areas.
Statewide, the unemployment rate was unchanged in April at 3.8%. Metro area unemployment rates in April ranged from a low of 2.9% in Northwest Arkansas to a high of 5.3% in Pine Bluff.
Nonfarm payroll employment was unchanged or declining in April for most of Arkansas metro areas. The exceptions were the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers metro area (+0.2%) and Texarkana (+0.3%). Over the past 12 months, employment growth has exceeded 2% in both Northwest Arkansas and Northeast Arkansas (Jonesboro). Memphis, Little Rock and Texarkana are up about 1% over the same period, while Hot Springs, Fort Smith and Pine Bluff have seen zero or negative growth.