The latest report on metropolitan area employment and unemployment from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed increases in unemployment in all 389 metro areas across the U.S. Compared to a year earlier, nonfarm payroll employment declined in 377 metro areas and was essentially unchanged in the other 12.
Unemployment rates in Arkansas metro areas increased to varying degrees. Unemployment increased the most sharply in Hot Springs – up 11 percentage points to 16%. The smallest increase in April was registered in Pine Bluff, where unemployment rose from 7.1% to 10.9%. Only Jonesboro and Northwest Arkansas metro areas remained in single digits and below the statewide average.
Nonfarm payroll employment declined by approximately 8% in Jonesboro, Little Rock and Pine Bluff, with somewhat larger percentage declines in the other metro areas. The largest decline was in Hot Springs, down 14.7%. Hot Springs was the only metro area to experience a larger percentage decline than the U.S. total. The remaining metro areas saw declines that were smaller than the national average, but at least as large as the statewide average. With all metro areas recording percentage declines as large or larger than the Arkansas total, a clear implication is the non-metro areas of the state generally experienced smaller declines.