Arkansas recently set a new record low for unemployment. The unemployment rate for July was 3.4 %, breaking the previous record of 3.5% last month. There are 19,200 more jobs in our state than this time last year.
But the story of our work force does not end there. As we approach Labor Day, it’s worth taking a look at our state’s largest occupations, what occupations are in demand, and what occupations are paying the most.
This information is released annually in the Department of Workforce Services Arkansas Labor Market and Economic Report.
Retail salespersons was estimated to have the most employees across the state with 37,050 employed in 2017 with an average wage of $24,990. Combined food preparation and serving workers was the second largest occupation with 35,520 employed, earning an average wage of $19,620.
When it comes to occupations in demand, the report is divided into three categories: high skill, moderate skill, and basic skill.
The most in-demand high skill occupations in our state are operations managers, registered nurses, clergy, elementary school teachers (except special education), accountants and auditors.
The most in-demand moderate skill occupations are truck drivers, nursing assistants, bookkeeping and auditing clerks, teacher assistants, and licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses.
The most in-demand basic skill occupations are food preparation and food serving workers, cashiers, retail sales, farmers and other agricultural managers.
Internists topped the occupations paying the most list with an annual salary of $247,280. Obstetricians and Gynecologists, with an average annual salary of $235,130 ranked second.
The entry wage estimate for employers of all sizes was $20,160 for 2017. The median wage estimate for employers with 250-499 employees was $32,317, while wages for experienced workers averaged $50,710 for employers in all size categories.
Our labor market is expected to continue to grow. You can find more detailed information on the labor market in various regions of the state by reading the report we have linked on our website.