Michael Pakko on Arkansas Employment Data – September 2022

Arkansas’ unemployment rate rose by 0.1 percentage points to 3.5% in September while the U.S. unemployment rate declined .2 percentage points to 3.5.  Since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, Arkansas’ unemployment rate has been running lower than the national average, however, they have now come to the same level.

Over that six-month period since March, the number of unemployed has risen by nearly 6,000 in Arkansas while the number of employed Arkansans declined by 2,445 in September after a decline of 2,775 in the previous month.

The declines in employment have driven a downturn in the size of the total labor force as well, down 2,400 over the past two months. These two months of data aren’t enough to establish a trend, but are merely suggestive of weakening conditions.  Overall, with the unemployment rate below 4%, labor market conditions remain strong.

Read the full article or read more from Michael Pakko, Chief Economist and State Economic Forecaster at the Arkansas Economic Development Institute here.