Economic Data for Arkansas

Gross Domestic Product

Real GDP (a measure of economic growth) has been increasing since 2009 from the most recent low of $98 billion. It has been growing since then and was at a high of $110 billion in 2017.




Private-sector employers have added 90,000 jobs since 2010, the national low point for private-sector employment. From 2017 to 2018 the private sector has added approximately 8,000 net new jobs, putting it above the pre-recession high of 980,000 total jobs by 50,000. Average hourly wages in the private sector have been growing since 2008, going from $17/hr to $21/hr in 2018.



Manufacturing employment has been declining since 2000, especially during the 2008 recession, but has been growing slightly since then. There are 160,000 jobs in this sector in 2018, down from 240,000 in 2001. Average hourly wages of production employees have been increasing since 2000, going from approximately $12.75/hr in 2010 to $16.80 /hr in 2018.



There were 63,000 jobs in the Trade, Transportation and Utilities sector in 2018, 6,000 jobs above its 2010 low but still below pre-recession levels, showing an incomplete recovery in this sector. The average wage in the Trade, Transportation and Utilities occupations was $21/hr in 2018, up from a 2010 average of $17.50/hr.




The unemployment rate in 2018 is 3.8%, up slightly from the prior year’s 3.6% rate. This is the national average of 3.9% unemployment.




The House Price Index, a measure of the cost of housing, declined from its 2007 high of 258. It has been increasing since 2012, hitting 280 in 2018, showing growing housing costs.

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