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January jobless rates in Arkansas metro areas up from December



Little Rock, Arkansas – Compared with January 2021, jobless rates in all eight metro areas within or including parts of Arkansas were down, but higher than December.

Fort Smith, Hot Springs, and Texarkana metros also posted lower employment in January compared with January 2021.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), January jobless rates ranged from 2.6% in Northwest Arkansas to 7.2% in the Pine Bluff metro. The January report is preliminary and subject to revisions.

Arkansas’ three largest metro regions – areas with most of the workforce in the state – accounted for 36.2% of the state’s 24,045 year-over-year job gains in January, even with the Fort Smith metro posting a jobs decline.

Central Arkansas – Little Rock, North Little Rock, and Conway – had 337,160 employed in January, up 3,580 jobs, from the 333,580 in January 2020. The region’s jobless rate was 3.7% in January, below 5.3% in January 2020.

Northwest Arkansas, the state’s second-largest metro area, had an estimated 280,987 jobs in January, up 5,114 jobs from the 275,873 in January 2020. The region’s jobless rate was 2.6% in January, below the 3.7% in January 2020.