JONESBORO — More people were working and more people were available to work in the Jonesboro area during December, the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday.
The unemployment rate for the Jonesboro Metropolitan Statistical Area dropped to 1.9 percent, compared to 3.9 percent in December 2020.
The statewide unemployment rate dropped to 2.4 percent, down from 4.7 percent a year earlier.
The Jonesboro metro area includes Craighead and Poinsett counties. The Fayetteville area, which includes Washington and Benton counties, continues to have the lowest rate in the state, 1.6 percent, down from 3.5 percent.
In December, Elkhart-Goshen, Indiana, had the lowest unemployment rate, 0.9 percent, closely followed by Bloomington and Columbus, Indiana, at 1 percent each. El Centro, California, had the highest rate, at 14.7 percent, according to the BLS. A total of 245 areas had December jobless rates below the U.S. rate of 3.7 percent, 135 areas, including Memphis, had rates above the national average.
The rate in the Memphis metro, which includes Crittenden County in Arkansas, was 4.1 percent, down from 6.9 percent in December 2020.
The federal government estimates that 61,500 people in the Jonesboro metro area were on someone’s nonfarm payroll in December. That’s about 2,200 more than a year ago. The number of people actively looking for work, but unemployed was only 1,271. A year earlier, 2,625 were counted as unemployed, according to BLS.
The Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway area posted a rate of 2.5 percent in December, down from 5.0 in December 2020. The rate for Fort Smith was 2.2 percent, down from 4.6 percent, while unemployment in the Hot Springs metropolitan area was 3.0, down from 5.9.
Pine Bluff had the highest unemployment among metro areas in the state with 3.9 percent, down from 6.6 percent.