Arkansas Employment Statistics

  • 90,525 employers
  • 1,211,022 employees
  • $845 average weekly wage
  • The average weekly wage is 23.3% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 11.6% below the national average

Types of Employers (Private Sector vs Government Agency)

As an employer in Arkansas, you are most likely to be running a private company rather than a government agency. 95.4% of employers run private companies in the state, 1.6% less than the national average of 97.0. The remaining 4.6% of employers are government agencies: 1.3% work in a federal agency, 1.2% work for the state and 2.2% work for local government. The chart below illustrates the breakout of employers by type.
83.7% of employees work for a private company. This is 1.5% below the national average of 85.2%. Local government agencies employ 9.0% of the workers in the state, state government agencies employ 5.6% of the workers and the federal government employs 1.7%. The percentage of employees working for a government agency (16.3%) is 1.5% higher than the national average. The chart below illustrates the breakout of employees by type of employer.
The average weekly wage in Arkansas is $845 per week, which is 23.3% greater than the national average of $1,101 per week. Arkansas workers that are employed by private businesses earn $841 per week, 23.5% lower than the national average for private company employees. Employees of federal government agencies in Arkansas earn $1,356 per week, a premium of 61.2% compared to what employees of private companies earn. The chart below illustrates the average weekly by type of employer.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Healthcare with 16.5% of the businesses in the state. Retail trade (12.2%) and Professional services (10.0%) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Sectors by # of Businesses
Sector# Businesses% of Bus.
Healthcare14,91916.5%
Retail trade11,03612.2%
Professional services9,03510.0%
Wholesale trade7,2448.0%
Construction6,9587.7%
Accommodation and food services6,1926.8%
Other services5,3535.9%
Finance and insurance4,9795.5%
Waste services4,7295.2%
Real estate and rental3,4393.8%
Transport and warehousing2,9553.3%
Manufacturing2,9213.2%
Agriculture and forestry2,0982.3%
Information1,2111.3%
Arts and entertainment9871.1%
Educational services8771.0%
Company management5600.6%
Mining and oil extraction4310.5%
Utilities4300.5%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 14.4% of the employees in the state. Manufacturing (13.3%) and Retail trade (11.5%) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Sectors by # of Employees
Sector# Employees% of Emp'
Healthcare174,25914.4%
Manufacturing160,59613.3%
Retail trade139,10211.5%
Accommodation and food services106,9888.8%
Waste services67,8875.6%
Transport and warehousing54,2754.5%
Construction50,8384.2%
Wholesale trade47,3743.9%
Professional services43,9993.6%
Finance and insurance37,0043.1%
Company management34,7852.9%
Other services24,9562.1%
Real estate and rental13,6291.1%
Agriculture and forestry12,5191.0%
Educational services11,8731.0%
Arts and entertainment11,4270.9%
Information10,9100.9%
Utilities7,7950.6%
Mining and oil extraction3,8190.3%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Company management paying $2,212per week compared with the state average of $841. Utilities ($1,701) and Wholesale trade ($1,315) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Wages by Sector
SectorWkly Wagevs St Avg.
Company management$2,212263.0%
Utilities$1,701202.3%
Wholesale trade$1,315156.4%
Mining and oil extraction$1,268150.8%
Finance and insurance$1,253149.0%
Professional services$1,217144.7%
Information$1,035123.1%
Manufacturing$923109.8%
Construction$923109.8%
Transport and warehousing$907107.8%
Healthcare$82498.0%
Agriculture and forestry$80896.1%
Real estate and rental$75089.2%
Educational services$71184.5%
Other services$67079.7%
Waste services$58469.4%
Retail trade$52762.7%
Arts and entertainment$40648.3%
Accommodation and food services$30836.6%


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 7.5% of the businesses in the state (with 6,773 employing 20,006 workers). Restaurants and other eating places (5.4%) and Offices of physicians (2.6%) round out the top 3 industries. The Top 10 Industries in the state are:
Industry# BusinessesEmp/Biz
Services for the elderly and disabled6,7733.0
Restaurants and other eating places4,86218.5
Offices of physicians2,32110.9
Wholesale trade agents and brokers2,2822.5
Computer systems design and related services1,8365.2
Insurance agencies and brokerages1,7543.5
Offices of lawyers1,5133.2
Gasoline stations with convenience stores1,5107.3
Management consulting services1,4613.7
Accounting and bookkeeping services1,2634.8


Employees by Industry

The industry with the greatest number of employees in the state is Restaurants and other eating places with 7.4% of the businesses in the state. The industry employs 90,007 in 4,862 businesses, there are 18.5 employees on average in each of these businesses. General medical and surgical hospitals (3.2%) and Management of companies and enterprises (2.9%) round out the top 3 industries.
Table: Industries by # of Employees
Industry# EmpEmp/Biz
Restaurants and other eating places90,00718.5
General medical and surgical hospitals38,997464.3
Management of companies and enterprises34,78562.1
Animal slaughtering and processing32,905416.5
General merchandise stores including warehouse clubs and supercenters31,28636.3
Temporary help services27,02931.2
Offices of physicians25,32410.9
General freight trucking long-distance24,72328.2
Nursing care facilities skilled nursing22,81381.8
Services for the elderly and disabled20,0063.0


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Securities brokerage, paying $3,067 compared with the state average of $841. Investment banking and securities dealing ($3,019) and Portfolio management ($2,770) round out the top 3 industries.
Table: Wages by Industry
IndustryWkly Wage% of Avg
Securities brokerage$3,067364.7
Investment banking and securities dealing$3,019359.0
Portfolio management$2,770329.4
Plastics materials merchant wholesalers$2,445290.7
Commodity contracts dealing$2,390284.2
Electric power generation$2,375282.4
Fish and seafood merchant wholesalers$2,311274.8
Miscellaneous intermediation$2,303273.8
Toy and hobby goods merchant wholesalers$2,217263.6
Management of companies and enterprises$2,212263.0


Company Size

Arkansas Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in Arkansas by far. 62.0% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 83,220 small businesses in the state represent 96.2% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.6%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) The pie chart below illustrates the ratio of business sizes.

Arkansas Employees by Business Size

The largest companies in the state represent 120.9% of all employees, which is 17.5% lower than the national average of 138.4%. Smallest companies also employ a lower percentage of the states workforce than the largest companies. The solopreneur (those that employ fewer than 5) companies employ 85.2% of all workers, which is 6.3% lower than the national average of 91.5%. All small companies, those employing fewer than 50 people, represent 548.4% of the labor force in the state, 1.6% less than the national average of 550.0%.

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 13.2% less than the national average ($861 per week as compared to the national average of $975 per week). The largest companies in Arkansas (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 21.8% workers below the national average ($1,545 per week as compared to the national average of $1,882 per week).



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.