Arkansas Economic Development Commission

Arkansas Ranks 2nd in U.S. for Nonfarm Job Gains as Civilian Labor Force Nears All-Time High

September 6, 2017

Arkansas Ranks 2nd in nonfarm job gains AEDCAccording to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Labor, Arkansas experienced the second-largest percentage gain in year-over-year nonfarm employment. This increase lead to the addition of nearly 33,000 jobs to an economy with a near-record number of workers coming into the state’s labor force. Oregon was the only state to surpass Arkansas in the percentage of year-over-year percentage increases in nonfarm employment. The news reaffirms that Arkansas has an ever-growing job market with more companies bringing jobs to the state.

A recent report from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that Arkansas added 32,700 nonfarm positions to the state’s growing economy in the past year. The nonfarm business sector is a subset of the domestic economy and excludes activities of the following: general government, private households, nonprofit organizations serving individuals and farms. 

With continued job growth and an all-time low unemployment rate of 3.4 percent, which is 0.9 percent lower than the national average, Arkansas is ranked among some of the best-performing states in terms of job creation. Not only that, but new workers are continuing to join the Arkansas labor force. Between June and July, a total of 9,100 workers were added to the state’s payrolls.

Arkansas’s labor participation rate has experienced a 5% increase since January 2015 to July 2017 from 54.4% to 57.1%. The number of unemployed during this period has decreased from 73,499 to 46,497, resulting in a 39.3% decrease in the unemployment rate from 5.6% to 3.4%.

Under the leadership of Governor Asa Hutchinson, the Arkansas civilian labor force has grown by 53,073, from 1,321,543 to 1,374,616, with a mix of 1,328,119 employed workers and 46,497 jobseekers. The number of employed workers in Arkansas hit an all-time high in May at 1,309,035.

For more information about job growth and the economy in Arkansas, sign up for our newsletter here.

Get the Arkansas Economic Impact Report AEDC