Arkansas Business & Employment Growth Since 2009

  • 4,788 more businesses
  • 76,534 more employees
  • 6.7% increase in total wages
  • $8,253 increase in annual wages per employee
  • 23.1% increase in wages per employee

Since 2009, the number of businesses in Arkansas has grown by 5.6% (5.9% less than the national average of 11.4%). Employment in Arkansas has grown by 6.7% (6.9% less than the national average of 13.6%). Wages have grown by 23.2% since the end of the Great Recession. This wage growth is 2.5% less than the national average of 25.7%.
The average weekly wage in Arkansas of $845 is 30.3% below the national average of $1,101. The gap between the national average has widened from 27.7% a widening of 2.6% since the end of the recession.

Sector Growth

Business Sector Growth

The Healthcare sector has the most businesses in the state of Arkansas. Since the end of the recession, the number of businesses has grown from 13,502 to 14,919, a gain of 10.5%. The table below illustrates the change in number of businesses in each sector.
Sector20182009Pct Chg
Healthcare14,91913,50210.5%
Retail trade11,03611,155-1.1%
Professional services9,0357,48520.7%
Wholesale trade7,2446,20316.8%
Construction6,9587,425-6.3%
Accommodation and food services6,1925,35115.7%
Other services5,3535,3470.1%
Finance and insurance4,9794,7913.9%
Waste services4,7294,15713.8%
Real estate and rental3,4393,446-0.2%
Transport and warehousing2,9552,9410.5%
Manufacturing2,9213,436-15.0%
Agriculture and forestry2,0981,9358.4%
Information1,2111,1406.2%
Arts and entertainment9879207.3%
Educational services87764635.8%
Company management5605531.3%
Mining and oil extraction431548-21.4%
Utilities43036816.8%

The sector that has had the strongest growth [in number of businesses] is the Professional services sector, which has increased by 20.7% since 2009. The sector that has has the largest decline is the Manufacturing sector, which has declined by 15.0% since the recession.

Employment Sector Growth

The Healthcare sector has the most employees in the state of Arkansas. Since the end of the recession, the number of employees has grown from 149,022 to 174,259, a gain of 16.9%. The table below illustrates the change in number of employees in each sector.
Sector20182009Pct Chg
Healthcare174,259149,02216.9%
Manufacturing160,596164,105-2.1%
Retail trade139,102129,6457.3%
Accommodation and food services106,98889,99718.9%
Waste services67,88748,88438.9%
Transport and warehousing54,27548,80611.2%
Construction50,83851,820-1.9%
Wholesale trade47,37447,0160.8%
Professional services43,99937,65216.9%
Finance and insurance37,00435,3734.6%
Company management34,78526,48031.4%
Other services24,95624,7290.9%
Real estate and rental13,62913,801-1.2%
Agriculture and forestry12,51912,609-0.7%
Educational services11,87310,33014.9%
Arts and entertainment11,4279,75317.2%
Information10,91016,262-32.9%
Utilities7,7956,75515.4%
Mining and oil extraction3,8198,185-53.3%

The sector that has had the strongest employment growth [in number of employees] is the Healthcare sector, which has increased by 16.9% since 2009. The sector that has has the largest employment decline in number of employees is the Information sector, which has declined by 32.9% since the recession.

Weekly Wage Growth By Sector

The Company management sector has the highest average weekly wage in the state of Arkansas. Since the end of the recession, the average wage has grown from $1,530 to $2,212, a gain of 44.6%. The table below illustrates the change in weekly wage in each sector.
Sector20182009Pct Chg
Company management$2,212$1,53044.6%
Utilities$1,701$1,34926.1%
Wholesale trade$1,315$1,02528.3%
Mining and oil extraction$1,268$1,14111.1%
Finance and insurance$1,253$95131.8%
Professional services$1,217$97025.5%
Information$1,035$1,287-19.6%
Manufacturing$923$71828.6%
Construction$923$76221.1%
Transport and warehousing$907$72225.6%
Healthcare$824$68021.2%
Agriculture and forestry$808$57839.8%
Real estate and rental$750$56832.0%
Educational services$711$58421.7%
Other services$670$49734.8%
Waste services$584$45727.8%
Retail trade$527$43421.4%
Arts and entertainment$406$33421.6%
Accommodation and food services$308$24127.8%

The sector that has had the strongest wage growth is the Company management sector, which has increased by 44.6% since 2009. The sector that has has the smallest wage growth is the Information sector, which has declined by 19.6% since the recession.


Industry Growth

Business Industry Growth

The Services for the elderly and disabled industry has the greatest number of businesses in the state of Arkansas. Since the end of the recession, the number of businesses has grown from 6,208 to 6,773, a gain of 9.1%. The table below illustrates the change in the number of businesses in the top industries.

Industry20182009Pct Chg
Services for the elderly and disabled6,7736,2089.1%
Offices of physicians2,3212,2333.9%
Wholesale trade agents and brokers2,2822,582-11.6%
Computer systems design and related services1,8361,00782.3%
Insurance agencies and brokerages1,7541,52215.2%
Offices of lawyers1,5131,5040.6%

The top industry that has had the largest increase in the number of businesses is the Computer systems design and related services industry, which has increased by 82.3% since 2009. The top industry that has has the largest decline in the number of businesses is the Wholesale trade agents and brokers industry, which has declined by 11.6% since the recession.

Employment Industry Growth

The Restaurants and other eating places industry has the greatest number of employees in the state of Arkansas. This industry currently has 90,007 employees in it. There is no direct comparison back to the total at the end of the recession and is not included in the table below.

Industry20182009Pct Chg
General medical and surgical hospitals38,99738,8260.4%
Management of companies and enterprises34,78526,48031.4%
Animal slaughtering and processing32,90531,2935.2%
Temporary help services27,02915,72771.9%
Offices of physicians25,32421,52817.6%

The top industry that has had the largest increase in the number of employees is the Temporary help services industry, which has increased by 71.9% since 2009. The top industry that has has the largest decline in the number of employees is the General medical and surgical hospitals industry, which has declined by 0.4% since the recession.

Weekly Wage Growth By Industry

The Securities brokerage industry has the highest average weekly wage in the state of Arkansas. Since the end of the recession, the average wage has grown from $1,451 to $3,067, a gain of 111.4%. The table below illustrates the change in weekly wage in each sector.
Industry20182009Pct Chg
Securities brokerage$3,067$1,451111.4%
Investment banking and securities dealing$3,019$2,71311.3%
Portfolio management$2,770$1,56277.3%
Plastics materials merchant wholesalers$2,445$889175.0%
Commodity contracts dealing$2,390$1,52057.2%
Electric power generation$2,375$1,94921.9%
Fish and seafood merchant wholesalers$2,311$763202.9%

The top industry that has had the strongest wage growth is the Securities brokerage industry, which has increased by 111.4% since 2009. The top industry that has has the largest wage decline is the Investment banking and securities dealing industry, which has declined by 11.3% since the recession.


Company Size

Business Growth By Company Size

The biggest percentage change in the number of businesses has been in businesses with 1,000 or more employees. The number of businesses with this number of employees has grown from 43 to 58, which is an increase of 34.9%.

The smallest percentage change in the number of businesses has been in businesses with 500 to 999 employees. The number of businesses with this number of employees has grown from 91 to 82, which is an increase of -9.9%.

Table: Change in the number of Businesses by Size of Business, since the Recession:

Company SizeQ1 2018Q1 2010% Change
Fewer than 5 Employees53,69049,8687.7%
5-9 Employees14,02513,5603.4%
10-19 Employees9,1978,6426.4%
20-49 Employees6,3085,52114.3%
50-99 Employees1,9301,61919.2%
100-249 Employees9738998.2%
250-499 Employees2692632.3%
500-999 Employees8291-9.9%
More Than 1,000 Employees584334.9%


Employment Growth by Company Size

The biggest percentage change in the number of employees has been in businesses with 1,000 or more employees. The number of employees in companies this size has grown from 82,307 to 104,636, which is an increase of 27.1%.

The smallest percentage change in the number of employees has been in businesses with 500 to 999 employees. The number of employees with this number of employees has grown from 62,075 to 56,247, which is an increase of -9.4%.

Table: Change in the number of Employees by Size of Business, since the Recession:

Company SizeQ1 2018Q1 2010% Change
Fewer than 5 Employees73,72671,9532.5%
5-9 Employees91,76088,1234.1%
10-19 Employees123,154114,7347.3%
20-49 Employees185,908161,60715.0%
50-99 Employees130,612109,48019.3%
100-249 Employees145,063128,55112.8%
250-499 Employees90,36888,5982.0%
500-999 Employees56,24762,075-9.4%
More Than 1,000 Employees104,63682,30727.1%


Weekly Wage Growth by Company Size

The biggest percentage change in the average weekly wage has been in businesses with 1,000 or more employees. The average weekly wage in companies this size has grown from $1,039 to $1,545, which is an increase of 48.7%.

The smallest percentage change in the average weekly wage has been in businesses with 20 to 49 employees. The average weekly wage in companies this size has grown from $590 to $719, which is an increase of 21.9%.

Table: Change Average Weekly Wage by Size Since the Recession:

Company SizeQ1 2018Q1 2010% Change
Fewer than 5 Employees$861$62737.3%
5-9 Employees$724$56827.5%
10-19 Employees$731$58824.3%
20-49 Employees$719$59021.9%
50-99 Employees$777$61725.9%
100-249 Employees$861$66629.3%
250-499 Employees$947$72031.5%
500-999 Employees$1,082$79436.3%
More Than 1,000 Employees$1,545$1,03948.7%



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.