Arkansas Q1, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 91,958 employers, up 2.3% from 89,882
  • 1,213,440 employees, up 0.9% from 1,202,125
  • $896 average weekly wage, up 2.2% from $877
  • The average weekly wage is 24.3% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 11.6% below the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 2,076, which is an increase of 2.3%. The number of employees in Arkansas increased by 11,315, an increase of 0.9%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $19, an increase of 2.2%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 2,050 or 2.4%. Growth in private businesses in Arkansas grew slower than the national average of 3.0%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 12,443 or 1.2%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Arkansas was slower than the national average of 1.7%.

The average weekly wage of employees of private businesses increased since last years' Q1. The averge weekly wage increased by $21 or 2.4%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in Arkansas grew slower than the national average of 3.0%.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Healthcare with 16.3% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector increased by 0.2%. Retail trade (12.0%), which increased by 0.9% and Professional services (10.2%), which increased by 5.3%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Information1048.9%
Educational services637.4%
Waste services2525.4%
Professional services4745.3%
Real estate and rental1444.2%
Transport and warehousing1103.8%
Construction2313.4%
Accommodation and food services1803.0%
Arts and entertainment262.6%
Finance and insurance992.0%
Mining and oil extraction81.9%
Agriculture and forestry331.6%
Wholesale trade1071.5%
Manufacturing431.5%
Retail trade970.9%
Other services500.9%
Healthcare350.2%
Utilities00.0%
Company management-6-1.1%


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, had an increase in employees of 1.5% in the last year. Manufacturing (13.4%), increased by 2.0% and Retail trade (11.2%), decreased by 1.6%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Transport and warehousing3,0505.8%
Professional services1,5493.5%
Finance and insurance1,2143.3%
Construction1,5583.2%
Other services7052.9%
Educational services2652.2%
Accommodation and food services2,1372.0%
Real estate and rental2662.0%
Manufacturing3,1272.0%
Healthcare2,6201.5%
Information880.8%
Wholesale trade1660.4%
Agriculture and forestry40.0%
Arts and entertainment-15-0.1%
Waste services-480-0.7%
Utilities-54-0.7%
Retail trade-2,266-1.6%
Mining and oil extraction-93-2.4%
Company management-1,398-4.0%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Company management paying $3,449per week compared with the state average of $905. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $55 or 1.6%. Utilities ($1,969), rose by $43 or 2.2% and Finance and insurance ($1,501) increased by $30 or 2.0% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Transport and warehousing$637.1%
Information$726.6%
Other services$355.3%
Wholesale trade$614.4%
Educational services$284.1%
Accommodation and food services$124.0%
Real estate and rental$263.5%
Waste services$183.2%
Healthcare$243.0%
Arts and entertainment$122.9%
Utilities$432.2%
Finance and insurance$302.0%
Construction$172.0%
Retail trade$91.7%
Professional services$191.6%
Company management$551.6%
Manufacturing$101.1%
Mining and oil extraction$40.3%
Agriculture and forestry$-8-1.0%


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 7.3% of the businesses in the state (with 6,689 employing 19,539 workers). The Services for the elderly and disabled industry had 205 fewer businesses, a decline of 3.0% in the last year. Restaurants and other eating places (5.3% of businesses) added 103 businesses, an increase of 2.1% and Offices of physicians (2.6% of businesses) added 57 businesses, an increase of 2.5% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Footwear merchant wholesalers583.3%
Food crops grown under cover150.0%
Computer and software merchant wholesalers3143.7%
Inland water transportation240.0%
Toy and hobby goods merchant wholesalers1037.0%
School and employee bus transportation436.4%
Fish and seafood merchant wholesalers233.3%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Computer systems design and related services18810.6%
Management consulting services1238.7%
Restaurants and other eating places1032.1%
Real estate property managers8916.5%
Office administrative services669.7%
Temporary help services647.6%
Data processing hosting and related services6324.5%


Employees by Industry

Restaurants and other eating places (5.3% of employees) added 103 employees, an increase of 2.1% and Offices of physicians (2.6% ofemployees) added 57 employees, an increase of 2.5% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Lessors of nonfinancial intangible assets3099.2%
Local messengers and local delivery65680.6%
Investment banking and securities dealing47565.4%
Other similar organizations11655.6%
Inland water transportation1147.5%
Political organizations1146.6%
Home and garden equip. and appliance repair9337.2%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Restaurants and other eating places1,7632.0%
General freight trucking long-distance1,2315.1%
Aerospace product and parts manufacturing94531.6%
Offices of physicians8303.3%
Local messengers and local delivery65680.6%
Plumbing and hvac contractors6548.5%
Accounting and bookkeeping services5187.6%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

Restaurants and other eating places ($5) and Offices of physicians ($3) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Restaurants and other eating places ($5 per week) were paid $103 more per week, an increase of 2.1% and Offices of physicians ($3 per week) were paid $57 more per week, an increase of 2.5% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Computer training$1,501132.0%
Taxi service$26266.2%
Business associations$66459.6%
Piece goods merchant wholesalers$58152.4%
Agents and managers for public figures$18049.7%
Investment banking and securities dealing$2,17748.8%
Other specialized design services$38841.0%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Investment banking and securities dealing$2,17748.8%
Computer training$1,501132.0%
Business associations$66459.6%
Piece goods merchant wholesalers$58152.4%
Other specialized design services$38841.0%
Trusts estates and agency accounts$38738.2%
Computer and software merchant wholesalers$35617.9%


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 92.9%. (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%.



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.