Arkansas Q2, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 91,924 employers, up 2.0% from 90,115
  • 1,224,458 employees, up 0.6% from 1,217,112
  • $862 average weekly wage, up 4.6% from $824
  • The average weekly wage is 21.3% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 13.1% below the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 1,809, which is an increase of 2.0%. The number of employees in Arkansas increased by 7,346, an increase of 0.6%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $38, an increase of 4.6%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 1,779 or 2.1%. Growth in private businesses in Arkansas grew slower than the national average of 2.9%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 7,623 or 0.8%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Arkansas was slower than the national average of 1.4%.

The average weekly wage of employees of private businesses increased since last years' Q1. The averge weekly wage increased by $42 or 5.2%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in Arkansas grew faster than the national average of 3.8%.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Healthcare with 16.2% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector increased by 0.2%. Retail trade (12.0%), which increased by 0.0% and Professional services (10.2%), which increased by 4.6%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Information947.8%
Educational services566.5%
Waste services2826.0%
Professional services4114.6%
Arts and entertainment333.4%
Construction2273.3%
Real estate and rental1063.1%
Transport and warehousing883.0%
Accommodation and food services1652.7%
Agriculture and forestry502.4%
Finance and insurance891.8%
Wholesale trade1271.8%
Mining and oil extraction30.7%
Manufacturing140.5%
Other services270.5%
Healthcare270.2%
Retail trade-20.0%
Utilities-4-1.0%
Company management-14-2.5%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 14.3% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 0.6% in the last year. Manufacturing (13.3%), increased by 1.6% and Retail trade (11.1%), decreased by 2.1%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Transport and warehousing2,4204.5%
Construction1,8223.6%
Finance and insurance1,1713.2%
Real estate and rental3132.3%
Professional services9382.1%
Other services4982.0%
Information1911.8%
Manufacturing2,4811.6%
Accommodation and food services1,6421.5%
Arts and entertainment1331.1%
Wholesale trade5141.1%
Healthcare1,0910.6%
Educational services650.5%
Utilities20.0%
Agriculture and forestry-45-0.4%
Mining and oil extraction-59-1.5%
Waste services-1,221-1.8%
Retail trade-2,897-2.1%
Company management-1,436-4.1%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Company management paying $2,412per week compared with the state average of $847. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $602 or 33.3%. Utilities ($1,661), rose by $9 or 0.5% and Wholesale trade ($1,291) increased by $38 or 3.0% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Company management$60233.3%
Information$778.0%
Waste services$305.2%
Accommodation and food services$144.6%
Arts and entertainment$164.2%
Transport and warehousing$354.0%
Healthcare$293.6%
Construction$303.4%
Manufacturing$293.2%
Other services$203.0%
Wholesale trade$383.0%
Educational services$172.4%
Retail trade$112.1%
Agriculture and forestry$152.0%
Finance and insurance$161.4%
Real estate and rental$60.8%
Utilities$90.5%
Mining and oil extraction$-6-0.5%
Professional services$-14-1.2%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In Arkansas. the industry with the most businesses is Services for the elderly and disabled with 7.2% of the businesses in the state (with 6,576 employing 19,352 workers). The Services for the elderly and disabled industry had 176 fewer businesses, a decline of 2.6% in the last year. Restaurants and other eating places (5.4% of businesses) added 120 businesses, an increase of 2.5% and Offices of physicians (2.5% of businesses) added 30 businesses, an increase of 1.3% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Business and secretarial schools3100.0%
Footwear merchant wholesalers685.7%
Food crops grown under cover150.0%
Port and harbor operations250.0%
Computer and software merchant wholesalers3344.0%
Office supplies except paper manufacturing240.0%
Inland water transportation240.0%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Computer systems design and related services18710.3%
Restaurants and other eating places1202.5%
Management consulting services1007.0%
Temporary help services8510.0%
Real estate property managers7213.2%
Office administrative services7210.8%
Data processing hosting and related services6724.5%


Employees by Industry

Restaurants and other eating places (5.4% of employees) added 120 employees, an increase of 2.5% and Offices of physicians (2.5% ofemployees) added 30 employees, an increase of 1.3% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Local messengers and local delivery68571.1%
Investment banking and securities dealing50771.0%
Lessors of nonfinancial intangible assets2265.2%
Inland water transportation1459.0%
Home and garden equip. and appliance repair10341.1%
Remediation services16536.4%
Social science and humanities research1436.0%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Restaurants and other eating places1,3891.5%
Aerospace product and parts manufacturing1,00233.6%
General warehousing and storage71412.8%
Local messengers and local delivery68571.1%
Offices of physicians6102.4%
Plumbing and hvac contractors5797.2%
General freight trucking long-distance5222.2%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Investment banking and securities dealing, paying $2,479 compared with the state average of $847. The Investment banking and securities dealing industry paid their employees $168 less per week, a decline of 6.3% in the last year. Toy and hobby goods merchant wholesalers ($2,425) and Management of companies and enterprises ($2,412) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Toy and hobby goods merchant wholesalers ($2,425 per week) were paid $561 more per week, an increase of 30.1% and Management of companies and enterprises ($2,412 per week) were paid $602 more per week, an increase of 33.3% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Media representatives$96198.0%
Taxi service$27872.8%
Book and periodical merchant wholesalers$26541.1%
Motion picture and video production$31834.7%
Management of companies and enterprises$60233.3%
Toy and hobby goods merchant wholesalers$56130.1%
Audio and video equipment manufacturing$18223.2%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Media representatives$96198.0%
Management of companies and enterprises$60233.3%
Toy and hobby goods merchant wholesalers$56130.1%
Coal and other mineral merchant wholesalers$39220.7%
Motion picture and video production$31834.7%
Taxi service$27872.8%
Tire and tube merchant wholesalers$27717.1%


Company Size

Arkansas Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in Arkansas by far. 62.3% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 84,426 small businesses in the state represent 96.2% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.4%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) Arkansas added 2,050 businesses in the last year, an increase of 2.4% as compared to the national average of 3.0%.

Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 2,020 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 2.5% as compared to the national average of 3.1%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. These mid-sized businesses added 29 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 0.9% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. These large businesses added 1 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 0.7% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



Arkansas Employees by Business Size

Arkansas added 37,329 employees in the last year, an increase of 3.8% as compared to the national average of 5.2%. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 15,815 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 23.1% as compared to the national average of 4.2%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. Mid-sized businesses added 18,309 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 5.2% as compared to the national average of 4.7%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. Large businesses added 3,205 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 2.0% as compared to the national average of 9.2%.

Arkansas Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

Arkansas workers in every size business are paid less than the national average. The smallest companies in Arkansas (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 11.3% less than the national average ($903 per week as compared to the national average of $1,005 per week). The largest companies in Arkansas (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 26.3% workers below the national average ($1,515 per week as compared to the national average of $1,913 per week).

Average weekly wages in small businesses added $98 per week in the last year, which is an increase of 3.2% as compared to the national average of 3.1%. Employees of mid-sized businesses added $85 in wages per week in the last year, which is an increase of 3.3% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Employees of large businesses added $29 of weekly wages in the last year, which is an increase of 1.1% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.

Top Industries for Business and Employment

The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by number of businesses:

Table: Top 10 Industries by # of Businesses
Industry# Businesses% Change
Services for the elderly and disabled6,576-2.6%
Restaurants and other eating places4,9522.5%
Offices of physicians2,3361.3%
Wholesale trade agents and brokers2,068-10.0%
Computer systems design and related services2,00510.3%
Insurance agencies and brokerages1,7752.5%
Management consulting services1,5347.0%
Offices of lawyers1,503-0.7%
Gasoline stations with convenience stores1,502-4.5%
Accounting and bookkeeping services1,2922.9%


The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by number of employees:

Table: Top 10 Industries by # of Employees
Industry# Employees% Change
Restaurants and other eating places92,5581.5%
General medical and surgical hospitals38,935-0.1%
Management of companies and enterprises33,329-4.1%
Animal slaughtering and processing32,7620.1%
General merchandise stores including warehouse clubs and supercenters30,038-4.4%
Temporary help services26,312-3.9%
Offices of physicians25,8092.4%
General freight trucking long-distance25,0392.2%
Nursing care facilities skilled nursing22,7400.6%
Services for the elderly and disabled19,352-4.4%


The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by highest wages:

Table: Top 10 Industries by Weekly Wage
IndustryWkly Wages% Change
Investment banking and securities dealing$2,479-6.3%
Toy and hobby goods merchant wholesalers$2,42530.1%
Management of companies and enterprises$2,41233.3%
Electric power generation$2,378-3.5%
Commodity contracts dealing$2,336-9.4%
Coal and other mineral merchant wholesalers$2,28220.7%
Plastics materials merchant wholesalers$2,144-2.2%
Securities brokerage$2,105-22.2%
Fish and seafood merchant wholesalers$2,0297.3%
Druggists' goods merchant wholesalers$2,0194.7%




Data Sources




About the Writer

This page was created and is maintained by Kurt Tietjen, Founder of Stavera, High Peak Media & HomeGearWorks.com. Kurt is an executive, data scientist and software engineer who holds an MBA in Management Information Systems. In 2010, he partnered with scientists at Northwestern University to launch The Street Wire. This was one of the first mainstream uses of what would become “Narrative Science”, an artificial intelligence platform specializing in natural language generation. You can contact Kurt on LinkedIn here.