Steep increase reported in Arkansas job numbers; December jobless rate falls to 4.2%

Arkansas added more than 65,000 jobs between November and December. The state’s jobless rate dropped from 6.3% to 4.2% in December.

However, Michael Pakko is not convinced the December report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is accurate.

“In fact, the unprecedented magnitudes of changes in the number of employed, unemployed and the labor force suggests that some measurement uncertainty should be taken into consideration when interpreting the report,” Pakko noted in a statement to Talk Business & Politics. “Throughout the pandemic, the BLS has reported misclassification problems regarding the status of workers on temporary layoff. It is likely that these survey problems were a factor in the December results. Nevertheless, the payroll survey results corroborate a view of improved labor market conditions in December, so today’s report is overwhelmingly positive, even if the celebration of a return to full employment is probably premature.”

Read the full article on the Talk Business & Politics website here.