The Pine Bluff unemployment rate fell to 8.7 percent in September, according to data released Wednesday by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services.

The Pine Bluff unemployment rate fell to 8.7 percent in September, according to data released Wednesday by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services.


This was a substantial drop from the August reading of 10.2 percent and July’s 11.6 percent figure.


Springdale recorded a 3.9 percent September unemployment rate, coming in as the state’s lowest municipal reading. This was down from August’s 4.4 percent and July’s 4.7 percent.


West Memphis recorded the state’s highest municipal unemployment rate in September for the fourth consecutive month with a 10.9 percent reading. This was up from August’s 10.5 percent reading and down from the July figure of 12 percent.


State data show that Pine Bluff frequently records the second-highest municipal unemployment rate in the state behind West Memphis.


In May the two cities tied for the highest municipal unemployment rate in the state at 10.1 percent.


Pine Bluff had the highest rate and West Memphis the second-highest rate of unemployment in the state for five months in 2013.


• March 2013: Pine Bluff 11.9 percent; West Memphis 11.3 percent;


• May 2013: Pine Bluff 11.3 percent; West Memphis 11.1 percent;


• July 2013: Pine Bluff 13.3 percent; West Memphis 13 percent;


• October 2013: Pine Bluff 11.2 percent; West Memphis 10.7 percent;


• November 2013: Pine Bluff 11 percent; West Memphis 10.9 percent.


Jefferson County recorded a 7.8 percent September unemployment rate that was down from August’s 8.7 percent and July’s 9.7 percent.


Madison County had the state’s lowest September county unemployment rate at 3.9 percent, while the 9.8 percent Crittenden County reading was the state’s highest for the month.


The September unemployment rate for Arkansas was 6.2 percent, which is a slight drop from the August reading of 6.3 percent.


"The number of employed Arkansans rose 4,500 in September, the first employment gain since March 2014," said Arkansas Department of Workforce Services Communications Director Becky Heflin. "This increase, combined with the drop in unemployment, caused the unemployment rate to decrease to 6.2 percent this month."


The national unemployment rate for September was 5.9 percent, down from the August 6.1 percent reading.