Unemployment in Arkansas fell by more than 2 percent in December 2020.
On Tuesday, Jan. 26, Gov. Asa Hutchinson revealed that the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.2 percent last month. Hutchinson cited the unemployment rate drop as evidence of a “robust recovery” for Arkansas.
“The coronavirus knocked the wind out of our sails for a moment, but the strong economic foundation we had built before the pandemic held firm, as I knew it would, and now a robust recovery is in sight,” Hutchinson said in a statement. “The falling unemployment rate combined with the $319 million more than we expected in state revenue for fiscal year 2021 are signs that we have taken the right steps to limit the economic damage of COVID-19. This news does not soften the blow of the human toll on our state. We must continue to do everything we can to stop the spread of the virus and to come to the aid of the thousands of Arkansans who have lost loved ones to this disease.”
The unemployment rate in Arkansas soared in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, rising to 10.8 percent in April 2020. After April, the rate declined to 9.6 percent in May, 8.1 percent in June and 7.1 percent in July before picking up slightly in August to 7.4 percent. Since that time, the unemployment rate has steadily decreased.
In November 2020, the unemployment rate was 6.3 percent in Arkansas.
By contrast, the United States recorded a 6.7 percent unemployment rate in December, which was lower than the median estimate of 6.8 percent, according to Business Insider. The highest national level of unemployment during the pandemic was 14.7 percent.
While the national unemployment rate beat economist expectations, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported than the United States lost approximately 140,000 jobs in December.
Image courtesy of Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s office