During a month in which there is usually an upward trend in seasonal employment, Phillips County hit a snag and was on a downhill skid during the 31 days of December. The county's jobless numbers hit 5.7, a swing upward of 0.6 percent from November's 5.1 level.

During a month in which there is usually an upward trend in seasonal employment, Phillips County hit a snag and was on a downhill skid during the 31 days of December. The county's jobless numbers hit 5.7, a swing upward of 0.6 percent from November's 5.1 level.

Phillips County remained tied for the sixth highest unemployment rate in the state.

Unemployment numbers were also up throughout Phillips County's neighbors in the Arkansas Delta. Monroe County had the sharpest increase, rising from 4.7 percent in November to 5.6 in December, an 0.9 percent hike. Desha County recorded 5.5 percent of its workforce was without work compared to 4.7 percent in November – up 0.8 percent.

Lee County unemployment shot up 0.4 percent, recording 4.8 percent in December compared to November's 4.4 percent rate. St. Francis County reported the smallest jobless increase at 0.2 percent, rising from 4.7 percent in November to 4.9 percent in December.

Once again, Chicot County in extreme Southeast Arkansas, had the state's highest unemployment percentage in December at 7.1 percent. Those numbers were up from just 6.0 percent in November, a whopping 1.1 percent. Washington County, in Northwest Arkansas, had the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 2.5 but that December rate was up 0.1 percent from November's 2.4 mark.

The national unemployment rate in December was 4.7 percent, up 0.1 percent from November's 4.6 percent. Arkansas' jobless numbers stood at 3.9 percent, also up 0.1 percent from the previous month.

Unemployment figures were provided by Arkansas Department of Workforce. They are not seasonally adjusted.