Jobs in Arkansas

This area provides information on Jobs in Arkansas including where are the jobs, employment growth potential and population statistics.

What jobs are in Arkansas?

Most employment in Arkansas is based upon natural resources (principally farming) or activities which are in direct competition with low wage countries. Arkansas has tight labor markets with abundant low wage jobs and low levels of skills in the workforce.   Growth in the 1980s and 90s focused upon creating many jobs in low wage categories but no significant progress was made within higher wage groups. Primary careers in Arkansas have been in agriculture and natural resources like mining and timber.  In particular, the production of poultry, eggs, soybeans, sorghum, cattle, cotton, rice, hogs, milk have been and continue to be essential elements in the workplace.   Industries have focused on food processing, electric equipment, fabricated metal products, machinery, paper products, bromine, and vanadium.

  The most recent changes brought about by the Arkansas Department of Economic Development are gradually changing that picture. The University of Arkansas Medical School Biomedical Biotechnology Center is the central link in the process of upgrading biotechnology resources in Arkansas.  

Where are the jobs in Arkansas?

  Urban areas are the most likely to benefit from new employment incentives and developments.  Though some specific programs are targeted to assist sixty-eight of the state's seventy-five counties which are classified as being in a condition of long-term economic distress. Without fundamental changes in the economic structure growth will be constrained. Growth and high demand is likely to appear in selected areas only.  The Department of Economic Development (ADED) expects growth in the areas of biotechnology and healthcare in particular Biotechnology innovations will be most significant for health care Agriculture, the environment and specific industrial products. ADED has targeted several areas for specific recruitment and training to expand and diversify employment opportunities. Fields included in this outreach program include:   Administrative Services, Life Science, Information Technology, Logistics,   and Manufacturing for Metals, Transportation, Forest Products, and Food Products.  In addition, Rubber and Plastics Manufacturing and Scientific and Production activities for Agriculture are highlighted.  

What careers offer stable employment?

  Due to the special assistance and collaboration of many agencies and companies, Arkansas is poised to take a strong position in the field of innovative biotechnology. In cooperation with the US Department of Labor, additional areas have been marked for specially augmented programs to promote development.

  This innovative economic adjustment strategy calls for selectively licensing technology to Arkansas-based startup companies. This seems to be the best long-term approach to improve Arkansas' core economy. These areas are: Automotive, Advanced Manufacturing, Biotechnology, Construction, Energy, Financial Services, Geospatial, Health Care, Hospitality, Information Technology (IT), Retail, and Transportation.    

What is the employment growth potential in this state?

  Due to significant collaborative efforts the Arkansas economic and employment growth is hopeful.  The Department of Labor projects an increase of almost 16% between 2002 and 2012.  However, with the exception of highly professional and technical positions the average weekly earning will continue to be around $600 or less.    

How many people live in Arkansas?

  There are more than 2 million people living in Arkansas and the average unemployment rate is under 5%. However, the amount of unemployment is significantly higher in rural counties. The average family income in 2005 was in the $45,000 range. Compared to other states the per-capita income is nearly the lowest at about $19,500. Some counties have high density pockets of poverty though their per-capita income is higher.  

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