Unemployment Numbers in Arkansas Declining

JONESBORO, AR--This month a record of over 1.3 million Arkansans have a job. Those positive results have yielded more good news as the unemployment rate across the state dropped a tenth of a percent to 4.9%.

While the state of Arkansas is touting the one tenth of a percent drop in unemployment last month, Jonesboro says you haven't seen anything yet.

"Over the last year our unemployment has dropped more than a half percent which is encouraging and it shows signs that Jonesboro continues to grow and our economy continues to do well," said President and CEO of the Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce Mark Young.

Young feels the decrease should be chalked up to the balanced growth around the city.

"I think you are going to continue to see a lot of growth in the service sector and manufacturing here as well and continued growth in retail," said Young.

Part of the retail growth involves the Mall at Turtle Creek. In addition to the complex itself, the mall has been a positive influence on the surrounding area.

"It's not uncommon when a mall opens that you see other retail activity happen as a result of that and we are seeing that here," said Young.

Even though unemployment dropped by a whopping half percent in the last year here in Jonesboro, the factors are still there that trend could continue as manufacturing giant Alberto Culver is set to open and employ over 400 people.

"While its great to see those unemployment numbers go down and they continue to do well the other side of it is that it is important that people move into our community," said Young.

Young warns that if unemployment numbers get too low, companies will look to area's with a more available workforce. That's why he feels it is important growth remains balanced.

"I think the important thing is Jonesboro has had continued growth. Very steady, we have seen that in our population and civilian workforce over a long period time, but also in the number of jobs created here," said Young.

Another positive sign for Jonesboro is that while most of the state and the country are seeing the number of manufacturing jobs decrease, Jonesboro is actually adding more of those jobs.