Metroplan discusses Little Rock area economic trends one year after COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – In the latest edition of the Metrotrends Economic Review and Outlook, the Metroplan looks at the economic trends of the Little Rock area a year after the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Metroplan, the number of jobs in the Little Rock area have increased from the lockdown period of April-May 2020, but the economic life is not completely back to normal.

The Metroplan reports that the total jobs in early 2021 were about 4.9 percent lower than 2020, months after recovery from the lockdown.

According to reports from The Metroplan:

 • Local unemployment, which briefly hit 10.4 percent in April 2020, was down to 4.4 percent by April 2021. These rates run lower than the U.S. peak of 14.4 percent in April 2020 and 5.7 percent in April 2021.

• The local labor force declined during the pandemic by nearly 6,000 jobs (-1.6 percent) and has yet to fully recover. Labor shortage is a constraint on economic growth.

• The COVID-19 crisis hit local industries unevenly. The local region saw job growth in its finance and construction sectors, despite pandemic stresses. The region took above-average losses in manufacturing, professional/business services and information, as well as transportation and utilities. Overall job loss was still less than the U.S. average.

• Little Rock’s Venture Center, featured in this issue, widened its fintech horizons under pandemic conditions using remote communications technologies.

To read the full publication of the 2021 Metrotrends Economic Review and Outlook, visit their website at MetroPlan.org.

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