Skip to content

Metro Area Employment & Unemployment – October 2012

New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that October unemployment rates were down from a year ago in 329 of the nation’s 372 metropolitan areas.  All of Arkansas’ metro areas are included in this total.  As shown in the table below, year-over-year changes in unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) ranged from -0.3% in Jonesboro to -1.3% in Texarkana.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS)

Monthly changes in smoothed seasonally adjusted estimates for October were mixed.   Unemployment rates were unchanged in Fayetteville, Hot Springs, and Little Rock.  Rates ticked up by one tenth of a percent in Fort Smith, Jonesboro, and Memphis.  Pine Bluff’s unemployment rate rose by 0.2% and Texarkana’s declined by 0.2%.  Four of the eight metro areas had unemployment rates lower than the statewide average of 7.2%.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Smoothed Seasonally Adjusted Metropolitan Area Estimates

Payroll Data
Nonfarm payroll employment in October was unchanged in Fort Smith, Hot Springs and Memphis.  The state’s other metro areas saw fairly sizable increases.  Employment was up 1.0% in Fayetteville and Texarkana, up 1.2% in Little Rock, up 1.4% in Pine Bluff and up 0.8% in Jonesboro.  Each of these increases exceeded the statewide growth rate for the month (0.4%).   Employment was higher than a year earlier in most of the state’s metro areas, with the exceptions of Fort Smith and Hot Springs.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics (CES)