Arkansas Employment and Unemployment – August 2017

By , September 20, 2019 11:18 AM

The August report on state-level employment showed that Arkansas’ unemployment rate was 3.4%, the same level as in the previous month.  The national unemployment rate was also unchanged at 3.7%, so the Arkansas rate remained 0.3% lower than the national average (a difference that is too small to be statistically significant).  The August household survey showed a slight decline in the  number of employed (-832) but that was the first monthly decline so far this year, with the previous 7 monthly changes averaging an increase of 1,870.  The number of unemployed was essentially unchanged in August (-41).

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS)

Payroll Employment
Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 2,300 in August, with an upward revision to July’s figure adding another 1,100 to the cumulative total for the year (seasonally adjusted).  Over the past 12 months, payroll employment has increased by 15.6%, a gain of approximately 1.2%.  According to the monthly report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Arkansas is one of 26 states where the year-over-year gain in employment was considered statistically significant.

As shown in the table below,the bulk of the job gains in Arkansas were associated with Manufacturing, up by 1,800 jobs — a monthly gain of 1.1% that offset declines from the previous three months.  Over the past year, employment in manufacturing has increased by 3,900, or 2.4%.  Monthly changes in the service-providing sectors were mixed:  expanding sectors included Financial Services, Professional and Business Services and Education & Health Services.  Leisure & Hospitality Services and Other Services were down for the month, as was Retail Trade.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics (CES)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics (CES)

It is notable that both the household survey and payroll survey data are revealing similar trends in employment growth.  For the past four months, both measures have reported year-over-year changes in the range of 1.1% to 1.3%.   Over the past five years of relatively steady employment growth in Arkansas, the household and payroll survey measures have averaged growth rates of 1.2% and 1.4%, respectively.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

 

# # #

 *Seasonally adjusted data for Arkansas nonfarm payroll employment, reported in a format compatible with the monthly news release from the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, can be found here:  Table-Seasonally Adjusted NFPE.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Metro Area Employment and Unemployment – July 2019

By , August 28, 2019 3:36 PM

Unemployment rates edged lower in Texarkana and Hot Springs in July, but were unchanged in Arkansas’ other metro areas.  Unemployment in the Memphis metro area, which includes one county in Arkansas, was up by 0.2 percentage points to 4.2%.  Unemployment rates were generally lower than a year earlier, with year-over-year changes ranging from -0.8 percentage points in Texarkana to -0.2 percentage points in Fayetteville and Little Rock.  Two exceptions to the year-over-year declines were Pine Bluff (up 0.1 percentage point) and Memphis, where unemployment was 4.2% in both July 2018 and July 2019.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Smoothed Seasonally Adjusted Metropolitan Area Estimates

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Smoothed Seasonally Adjusted Metropolitan Area Estimates

Payroll Employment
Nonfarm payroll employment declined in July by 0.2% in Fort Smith and in Little Rock, but was higher in the state’s other metro areas.  Employment growth in Hot Springs was particularly robust, up 0.8% in a single month.  Compared to July 2018, employment has shown solid growth in Fayetteville, Hot Springs, Jonesboro, Memphis and Texarkana.  Fort Smith is essentially unchanged from the previous year, while Pine Bluff continues to suffer employment declines.  Total employment in Pine Bluff is now over 13% lower than before the recession of 2008-09.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics (CES)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics (CES)

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Arkansas Taxable Sales – 2019:Q2

By , August 27, 2019 5:02 PM

After a slow start in the first quarter of the year, Arkansas Taxable Sales surged 3.0% higher in the second quarter.  Compared to a year earlier, taxable sales were up 3.1%.  Gasoline prices edged higher, averaging $2.46, up from $2.11 in the first quarter.  As a result, Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) grew at a slightly faster rate of 3.2% for the quarter.  Over the most recent four quarters, ATSIG was up 2.6%.

Sources: Department of Finance and Administration, Oil Price Information Service, Arkansas Economic Development Institute.

Sources: Department of Finance and Administration, Oil Price Information Service, Arkansas Economic Development Institute.

Sources: Department of Finance and Administration, Oil Price Information Service, Arkansas Economic Development Institute.

Sources: Department of Finance and Administration, Oil Price Information Service, Arkansas Economic Development Institute.

Over the past five years, ATS has expanded at an annual rate of 3.0%, while ATSIG has grown at a rate of only 2.5%.  The slower pace of the measure including gasoline sales reflects the fact that gasoline prices (and hence gasoline expenditures) were considerably higher in 2014.  (Gasoline prices averaged $3.43 in the second quarter of 2014.)  Over the same 5-year period, inflation (as measured by the price index for personal consumption expenditures) has averaged a 1.3% annual rate.  Consequently, the growth rate of real taxable sales has averaged only 1.7%, or 1.2% including spending on gasoline.

# # #

Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) is calculated by the Arkansas Economic Development Institute to serve as a timely proxy for Arkansas retail sales. The series is derived from sales and use tax data, adjusting for the relative timing of tax collections and underlying sales, changes in tax laws, and seasonal patterns in the data.  Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) incorporates data on the state motor fuel tax and gasoline prices from the Oil Price Information Service. A spreadsheet of the monthly and quarterly data is available here: Arkansas Taxable Sales 2019:Q2 (Excel file).

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Arkansas Employment and Unemployment – July 2019

By , August 16, 2019 4:50 PM

Arkansas’ unemployment rate ticked downward yet again in July, reaching an all-time low of 3.4%.  June’s record-low reading of 3.5% had been previously recorded in some of the preliminary data for 2018, but was a new low compared to revised figures. The new 3.4% record is the lowest unemployment rate in the history of the time-series—even among previous preliminary estimates.  The rate was driven lower by a continuing decline in the number of unemployed workers—down by approximately 400 in July and down by more than 4,300 over the past five months. Meanwhile, the number of employed was up by 800 in July and after seven consecutive monthly increases the number of employed is up by nearly 2,900 for the year.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS)

Arkansas’ unemployment rate in July was 0.3% lower than the national rate of 3.7%.  However, given the range of uncertainty in the the data, the difference is not statistically significant.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Payroll Employment
Before seasonal adjustment, nonfarm payroll employment dropped sharply in July (-13,900).  However, most of the decline was associated with summer vacation for workers in public and private education.  After seasonal adjustment, total employment was down by only 900 jobs.  Manufacturing and Construction were down for the month, but remain significantly higher than a year earlier.  Service-providing sectors continued their recent, slower trend rate of growth.  The exception was Leisure and Hospitality, which continues to add jobs at a robust rate—up 600 jobs for the month and up 5,000 since July 2018.  One notable weakness was in the Administrative & Support Services component of Professional & Business Services, a component that includes temporary clerical workers.  If demand for new employees were slowing, this component might be one of the first places to show weakness.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics (CES)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics (CES)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Metro Area Employment and Unemployment – June 2019

By , August 1, 2019 12:16 PM

Unemployment rates in Arkansas’ metro areas generally continued to trend lower in June, with monthly declines in Fayetteville, Jonesboro, Little Rock and Texarkana.  Unemployment was unchanged in Fort Smith, Hot Springs and Pine Bluff, while Memphis was the only metro area showing a slight increase for the month.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Smoothed Seasonally Adjusted Metropolitan Area Estimates

Relative to the statewide unemployment rate of 3.5%, rates are lower in Fayetteville, Jonesboro and Little Rock.  Rates in Memphis, Pine Bluff and Texarkana are above the statewide average, while Fort Smith and Hot Springs remain near the statewide average.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Smoothed Seasonally Adjusted Metropolitan Area Estimates

Payroll Employment
Nonfarm payroll employment was higher in most of the state’s metro areas, with particularly large monthly increases in Fayetteville and Jonesboro.  Two metro areas—Hot Springs and Texarkana—saw declines for the month, but both remain higher than a year earlier.   Pine Bluff is the only metro area to see zero job growth over the most recent 12 months, and it is also the only area to have experienced job losses since the current trend of statewide employment growth began in early 2014.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics (CES)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics (CES)

Since the onset of the “great recession” at the end of 2007, cumulative employment growth has varied markedly across the state.  Employment in Fayetteville and Jonesboro has climbed by over 20%.  In Little Rock, Memphis and Hot Springs, cumulative growth has been modest but positive.  On the other hand, employment in Texarkana, Fort Smith and Pine Bluff all remain well below their levels in 2007.  In Pine Bluff, the cumulative decline is over 13%.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics (CES)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics (CES)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Arkansas GDP – 2019:Q1

By , July 25, 2019 1:19 PM

New data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows Arkansas GDP growth of 2.5% for the first quarter (seasonally adjusted annual rate).  This was the highest quarterly growth rate for Arkansas since 2016:Q4.  While this represents solid growth, it fell short of the national growth rate of 3.1% in the first quarter.  Today’s report on GDP by state showed growth rates ranging from a low of 1.2% in Hawaii to a high of 5.2% in West Virginia.  Arkansas’ growth rate ranked it number 38 among the 50 states.

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

Over the most recent four quarters, Arkansas GDP growth has grown 1.6%, compared to 3.2% nationwide.

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

As detailed in the table below, Arkansas’ growth rate was adversely affected by a sharp decline in Agriculture, which subtracted 0.65% from the state’s overall economic growth.  Positive contributors to the Arkansas growth rate included Manufacturing (of both durable goods and nondurable goods), Retail Trade and Health Care.

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

Today’s data release contained no revisions of past data.  The next GDP update is scheduled for November 7, 2019, at which time revised data for 2014:Q1 through 2019:Q1 will be released.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Arkansas Employment and Unemployment – June 2019

By , July 19, 2019 1:35 PM

Arkansas’ unemployment rate declined by 0.1% in June, reaching an all-time low of 3.5%.  Meanwhile, the national unemployment rate ticked up 0.1% to 3.7%. The difference between the two rates remains statistically insignificant.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

June’s dip in the unemployment rate was primarily attributable to another month of fairly steep decline in the number of unemployed.  That number was down 1,208 for the month, and has fallen by 3,445 over the past three months.  Meanwhile, the number of employed was up by 1,949 in June, and has increased by 6,611 over the past three months.  Over the past 12 months, household employment has risen by 15,213, an increase of approximately 1.2%.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS)

Payroll Employment
Arkansas nonfarm payrolls expanded by 1,400 in June (seasonally adjusted).  The not-seasonally adjusted figures released by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services showed a decline of over 5,000 jobs, but those losses were concentrated in sectors where summertime cutbacks are ordinary and expected.  In particular, declines in Education Services and State and Local government were associated with summer break at schools and universities.  After adjusting for these seasonal factors, small declines were recorded in only a handful of sectors and were offset by gains elsewhere.  One sector showing particular strength was Leisure and Hospitality services, particularly in the area of Accommodation and Food Services.  This sector typically expands during the summer months, but last month’s growth exceeded the usual seasonal patterns.  Over the past 12 months, the Leisure and Hospitality supersector has been the largest single contributor to Arkansas’ job growth, adding nearly 5,000 of the 16,100 total net increase in payroll employment.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics (CES)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics (CES)

# # #

 *Seasonally adjusted data for Arkansas nonfarm payroll employment, reported in a format compatible with the monthly news release from the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, can be found here:  Table-Seasonally Adjusted NFPE.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Metro Area Employment and Unemployment – May 2019

By , July 3, 2019 12:38 PM

Unemployment rates in Arkansas metro areas continued to drift lower in May.  From April to May, unemployment rates declined in six of Arkansas’ eight metro areas, with declines of 0.2% in Hot Springs and Texarkana.  Over the past three months, unemployment rates have declined in all metro areas except Memphis.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Smoothed Seasonally Adjusted Metropolitan Area Estimates

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Smoothed Seasonally Adjusted Metropolitan Area Estimates

As shown in the figure below, recent declines have partly reflected a reversal of rate increases earlier in the year.  Nevertheless, unemployment remain are now at record lows in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Hot Springs, Jonesboro, and Little Rock.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Smoothed Seasonally Adjusted Metropolitan Area Estimates

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Smoothed Seasonally Adjusted Metropolitan Area Estimates

Payroll Employment
Monthly changes in nonfarm payroll employment were mixed in May.  Employment was up 0.3% in Hot Springs< Little Rock and Memphis, and down 0.3% in Pine Bluff.  Smaller increases were reported for Jonesboro, Little Rock, and Texarkana.  Over the past year, payroll employment growth has exceeded 1.0 percent in six of the state’s metro areas.  In Fort Smith, net employment growth has been essentially zero, while it is down 0.3% in Pine Bluff.    A similar pattern holds for longer-term trends as well: Since the current period of employment expansion began at the end of 2013, the only metro area that has continued to see negative job growth has been Pine Bluff.

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis, Current Employment Statistics (CES)

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis, Current Employment Statistics (CES)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Arkansas Personal Income – 2019:Q1

By , June 25, 2019 12:09 PM

Arkansas total personal income increased at an annual rate of 1.8% in the first quarter, well below the national growth rate of 3.4%.  Arkansas’ growth for the quarter ranked it as the 6th slowest-growing state in the nation.   First-quarter growth represented a sharp slowdown from the fourth-quarter growth rate of 6.8% (which was revised downward from the originally-reported 7.5% rate).  Over the past four quarters, Arkansas personal income has expanded by 3.5%, compared to an average U.S. growth rate of 3.8%.

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

A number of the slowest-growing states in the first quarter were midwestern states which (like Arkansas) suffered a quarter-to-quarter decline in farm income.  Arkansas farm income declined by 19% in the first quarter (a 58% annualized rate), contributing a negative 1.6 percentage points to the overall growth in income.  In part, the declines in farm incomes in the mid-west and mid-south are related to a temporary boost in the fourth quarter of 2018 from payments made under USDA’s Market Facilitation Program, which was implemented to assist farmers affected by tariffs and reduced exports.  Payments under this program began in the fourth quarter and extended into the first quarter of 2019, but at a slower pace.  Looking past the volatile quarter-to-quarter fluctuations, Arkansas farm incomes in the first quarter were up 3.9% from the same time a year earlier.

As shown in the table below, the general decline in Farm Income was reflected in the earnings breakdown by a sharp decline in Farm Proprietors’ income.  Another component that contributed to slower growth in the first quarter was a decline in Dividends, Interest, and Rent.  Today’s report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis noted that this component declined in all 50 states in the first quarter, after a pronounced surge in the fourth quarter.  It is not uncommon to see year-end spikes in dividend income (followed by first-quarter declines), especially when end-of-year changes in the tax code provide incentives for front-loading payments.  In this case, however, we are aware of no specific tax law changes that would account for this particular pattern.

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

In contrast to the declines in Farm Income and Dividends, Interest, and Rent, Arkansas workers saw growth in wages, salaries and supplements that exceeded national growth rates.  Personal Current Transfer Receipts contributed to income growth on both the state and national levels.  According the the BEA, “The increase in transfer receipts was due to an increase in refundable tax credits (the child tax credit and the Affordable Care Act premium tax credit), and a 2.8 percent cost of living increase in Social Security benefits.”

A breakdown of earnings by industry shows some additional specific sources of income gains and losses.  For both the state and the nation, relatively strong earnings growth was seen in retail trade as well as other major service-providing sectors.  One area of relative strength for Arkansas was in manufacturing, where earnings growth contributed 0.24 percentage points to the state’s growth rate compared to only 0.03 percentage points for the U.S.

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Arkansas Employment and Unemployment – May 2019

By , June 21, 2019 12:30 PM

Arkansas’ unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.6% in May.  The rate has now been below 4% for 35 consecutive months.  The components of the unemployment rate moved in favorable directions in May, with the number of employed up by 2,543 and the number of unemployed down by 1,133.  Over the past three months, household employment has risen by over 6,800 while unemployment has declined by more than 2,700.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS)

Payroll Employment
Nonfarm payroll employment declined by 700 jobs in May (seasonally adjusted).   Nationwide, payroll employment increased by a relatively small increment in May (+75,000) and today’s report on state-level employment notes that Washington was the only state to see significant job growth for the month, and that payroll employment was “essentially unchanged in 49 states and the District of Columbia.”

As shown in the table below, several sectors of the Arkansas economy showed job declines in May.  Employment in goods-producing sectors was particularly disappointing with declines in both Construction and Manufacturing.  Employment in retail trade outpaced the typical seasonal increase for May, while Leisure and Hospitality Services expanded by less than the usual seasonal gain (hence a decline in seasonally-adjusted employment).  Professional and Business Services showed an increase of about 1,000 jobs, with most of the increase attributable to Administrative and Support Services.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics (CES)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics (CES)

Compared to a year earlier, total payroll employment is up by 12,500 jobs.  About 40% of that job growth has come from Manufacturing and Construction.  Other important sectors for year-over-year growth include Wholesale Trade and most of the other Service-providing sectors (particularly Leisure & Hospitality).

# # #

 *Seasonally adjusted data for Arkansas nonfarm payroll employment, reported in a format compatible with the monthly news release from the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, can be found here:  Table-Seasonally Adjusted NFPE.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Panorama Theme by Themocracy

AWSOM Powered