Unemployment continued to be a troublesome problem in Phillips County during the month of July.
While the percentage of increase was significantly lower (0.3 percent) between June and July than between May and June, statistics provided by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services revealed that the county retained its position as having the second highest jobless rate in the state at 6.1 percent.

Unemployment continued to be a troublesome problem in Phillips County during the month of July.

While the percentage of increase was significantly lower (0.3 percent) between June and July than between May and June, statistics provided by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services revealed that the county retained its position as having the second highest jobless rate in the state at 6.1 percent.

The June numbers reflected 5.8 percent of the Phillips County workforce was without jobs compared to 6.1 percent in July. The unemployment figures are nearly twice as high as the state's average of 3.5 percent for the month of August, which was a one-tenth of a percent increase from July. The state's jobless rate currently stands at 3.5 percent.

Joblessness continues to plague the Delta region of the state. Mississippi County in extreme Northeast Arkansas again recorded the state's highest unemployment rate at 6.6 percent in July. However, that was a 1.3 percent decline from 7.9 percent in June.

All of Phillips County's neighboring counties also experienced upward shifts in the unemployment picture. Between the months of June and July, Lee County reported an 0.5 percent leap in unemployment from 4.5 percent to 5.0 percent. Monroe County recorded an 0.4 percent increase from 3.9 percent to 4.3 percent.

Desha and St. Francis counties reflected upward trends of 0.2 percent and 0.1 percent respectively. Desha County unemployment stood at 5.2 percent in July compared to 5.0 percent in June and St. Francis County jobless numbers inched upward from 5.0 percent in June to 5.1 percent in July.

Washington County still has the lowest unemployment numbers in the state at 2.6. They remained steady from the previous month.

Across the state the total number of people employed increased a little over 2,000 while the number of those without jobs increased by more than 1,200 as the overall workforce increased by more than 3,200.

The ADWS reported that the trade, transportation and utilities sector had the largest decline in jobs at around 3,000. The leisure and hospitality sector dropped 1,100 while government experienced an increase of approximately 2,800 jobs as the new school year got underway.

The national unemployment rate for August was 4.4 percent.

The statistics are not seasonally adjusted.

The Associated Press also contributed to this report.