by Max Brantley
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has issued its fourth quarter 2008 report on employment and wages. Arkansas suffered along with the rest of the country. Here's the report.
Some tidbits: The number of jobs dropped in the state's three largest counties -- Pulaski, Washington, Benton -- as it did in most U.S. counties, but the drop was smallest, 1.2 percent, in Pulaski. Nationally, the employment number dropped 2.3 percent.
There was this anomaly, though, on wages. Benton County may have had a bigger percentage drop in jobs, but average wages increased 6.3 percent, the 15th-highest county rate of improvement in the country. Conversely, wages in Pulaski, which led the country a year ago, ranked last with a 14.3 percent drop.