Arkansas Employment and Education

Over 23 thousand jobs were created between 2003 and 2005. This job growth helped cut down unemployment slightly. For 2005 unemployment was at 4.9%. It has risen since and stands at 5.4% for July 2006. Of people having jobs, incomes rose an average of 3.2% for the years 2003 and 2004.

Education continues to strive and improve in Arkansas. The graduation rate has climbed in 2000 to 75.3%, which is a big increase from 1990 when it was only 66.3%. There are 1,158 schools that spend $6,895 per student. The NAEP results are mixed. In 2003, 71% of 4th graders passed Math requirements and 60% the readings requirements. In 2005, the 4th graders who passed were 78% and 63%. The eight grade results showed that 58% passed math requirements and 70% the reading requirements. In 2005, the number passing was 64% and 69%.