Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview

Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview
Overview of Fayetteville, AR

Friday, April 25, 2008

Employment/Unemployment Picture in NW Arkansas

With all of the doom and gloom about the economy in the media, I wanted to share a few thoughts on the employment/unemployment picture in NW Arkansas---

Benton and Washington counties are alive and well compared to a host of other communities throughout Arkansas and the U.S. in general.

The unemployment rate for the country as a whole was 4.8% in February – a drop of one-tenth of one percentage point.

For the Fayetteville Metropolitan Statistical Area, the drop was six-tenths of one percentage point – from 4.8% to 4.2%. Fayetteville MSA, as defined by the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, includes Washington, Benton, and Madison Counties in Arkansas and McDonald County in extreme southwest Missouri.

For sake of comparison, Little Rock MSA saw a drop of three-tenths of one percentage point – from 5.2% to 4.9%. Fort Smith MSA dropped to 5.1%, and Pine Bluff MSA dropped to 7.7%.

The overall unemployment rate for the State of Arkansas was 5% in February.

Looking at it from a different perspective, Benton County with a total population of some 196,000 people, had approximately 99,000 employed in February. Washington County figures are similar. The population there is estimated at 186,500 and 98,950 people were employed in February.

All in all, these figures are somewhat encouraging. For example, nine Metropolitan Statistical Areas in California are suffering with unemployment rates in excess of 10%. We hear a lot about Detroit these days and no wonder. The unemployment rate for that MSA is 8.5%. It’s disheartening to know that throughout the U. S., 42 Metropolitan Statistical Areas have unemployment rates of 7% or higher!

Things could certainly be better but after reading many facts and figures about the employment/unemployment picture, I know it could be much worse than it is in NW Arkansas.

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