Careers, Jobs and Education Resources for: Arkansas

Arkansas Careers

Fast Facts: Arkansas shares a border with six states and is the “Natural State” with a very diverse geography. The capital and most populous city is Little Rock.

Arkansas Careers: According to 2008 Census data, Arkansas’ population moderately increased since 2000 and stands at almost 2.9 million. Forbes recently ranked Arkansas the 32nd “Best State for Business.”

Arkansas Career Education: Arkansas ranked 37th in a 2009 K-12 “Academic Achievement” study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Arkansas Economy: U.S.’s top rice producer, Arkansas is home to prominent companies such as Wal-Mart and the world’s largest poultry producer, Tyson Foods.

For details and sources, click the “Career Information” tab below.



Arkansas Fast Facts:

Location, Location, Location…:  Arkansas is located in the southern region of the U.S. and became a state on June 15, 1836.

Cities:  The capital and most populous city is Little Rock, located in the central portion of the state.

Behind the Name:  “Arkansas” is derived from an Algonquin name of the Quapaw Indians and the state’s official nickname is the "Natural State.” 

A Closer Look:  Arkansas’ diverse geography ranges from the mountainous regions of the Ozarks and the Ouachita Mountains to the eastern lowlands along the Mississippi River. 

Did You Know?  Arkansas shares a border with six states, with its eastern border largely defined by the Mississippi River.  Bonus question:  Can you name these six states? Texas (west), Oklahoma (west), Missouri (north), Tennessee (east), Mississippi (east) and Louisiana (south).

Arkansas Career Employment:

Population:  2,855,390 (6.8% increase since 2000) - 51.0% Female, 49.0% Male (2008 U.S. Census Bureau).

Business Environment:  Ranked 32nd in Forbes Magazine’s “Best States for Business,” 2008.

Top Industries:  In terms of paid employees, according to a 2008 U.S. Census Bureau study: (1) manufacturing; (2) retail trade; (3) health care and social assistance; (4) accommodation and food services; and (5) transportation and warehousing.

Taxes:  Income Tax, 1.0$ to 7.0% and Sales Tax, 6% (Federation of Tax Administrators).

Cost of Living:  90.4 in relation to the “National Average” of 100 (Federal Cost of Living Index).

Quality of Life:  Ranked 44th of 50 states by CNBC, 2009.

Weather:  Average Temperature (In °F) – Jan: 38.48; Apr: 60.36; July: 80.57; Oct: 61.47 (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

K-12:  Ranked 37th of 50 states in “Academic Achievement” by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 2009.

Arkansas Economics:

In General:  Although agriculture and petroleum production continue to play roles in the economy, the largest share of Arkansas’ workforce is dedicated to the service industry (32%). Other notable sectors for career opportunities include wholesale and retail trades (21%), manufacturing (17%), and military and government services (16%). In addition, the tourist industry annually attracts a large contingent to the state to visit the many national and state parks.

Service Industry:  The leading service industries are the wholesale (automobiles, farm products, mined products) and retail (department stores, discount stores, food stores) service groups. The latter is not surprising given that leading discount chain, Wal-Mart, is based in Bentonville.

Agriculture:  Based on revenue generated, Arkansas’s top five agricultural products are broilers (young chickens), rice, soybeans, cattle and calves and cotton.

Manufacturing:  Food products, including animal feed, bakery goods, canned vegetables, meats, milk, poultry, rice and soft drinks, lead the manufacturing sector in terms of “value added” or net revenue production. 

Mining:  Natural gas, located largely in the northwestern part of the state, is Arkansas’s most important mined product, followed by petroleum from the southern border with Louisiana. 

A Closer Look:  The world’s largest poultry producer and processor, Tyson Foods, is located in Springdale.

Did You Know?  Arkansas is the leading producer of rice in the U.S., providing about 46% of the nation’s supply.

Arkansas Education:

Find Colleges and Universities in Arkansas, here.


Sources:  In addition to specific citations noted in this “Career Information” section, supplementary source materials include:  the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service;;;; and 

General Information
2,673,380 Population (as of 2000)2.0 Average Persons Per Household (as of 2000)
2,761,582 Population (current)$52,600 Average House Value (as of 2000)
51,126.1 Square Miles of Land$28,343 Average House Income (as of 2000)
453.8 Square Miles of Water

Business Information
64,067 Number of Businesses (as of 2003)$6,141,090,000 Total First Quarter Payroll (as of 2003)
956,537 Number of Employees (as of 2003)$25,609,532,000 Total Annual Payroll (as of 2003)

Gender (as of 2000)
Ethnicity (as of 2000)
Median Ages (as of 2000)
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Colleges in the State of Arkansas
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