Making less, enjoying it less?

Some info came in this morning.

The Southwest office of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics today released, “County Employment and Wages in Arkansas: Fourth Quarter 2008.”  This report shows year-end  employment and wage levels for all 75 Arkansas counties.  The report also provides national rankings of wage levels, wage growth, and employment changes for the 334 largest counties in the country, including the 3 largest counties in the State.  The release will NOT be available on our Web site until later today (, so a PDF version is attached for your use.

Some highlights include:

Employment fell in the 3 largest Arkansas counties from December 2007 to December 2008, as it did in 285 of the 334 largest U.S. counties. The smallest decrease occurred in Pulaski County where the number of jobs declined 1.2 percent over the year.  By comparison, U.S. employment fell 2.3 percent.
Weekly wages were lower than the national average in all 75 Arkansas counties, although wages in Pulaski ($847) and Benton ($844) were within 10 percent of the U.S. average ($918).  Wages in Washington, the third large county in the State, were notably lower at $747 per week.
Half of all Arkansas counties had average weekly wages within a tight band of $500 – $599, although wages in two smaller Arkansas counties, Little River and Calhoun, led the entire State at $880 and $855 per week, respectively.
Wage movements among the 3 largest Arkansas counties were quite varied.  From the fourth quarter of 2007 to the fourth quarter of 2008, Benton County registered a 6.3-percent wage gain, ranking 15th nationwide.  In sharp contrast, Pulaski County, which ranked 1st in the nation one year ago, ranked last this year with a 14.3-percent drop.  Statewide, average weekly wages fell 1.0 percent.

This information comes from the Bureau’s Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW). The QCEW program contains extensive data on both employment and wages by detailed industry for all States and counties. Data on weekly wages for all counties in the U.S. can be accessed from


About patlynch
I am a broadcaster in Arkansas, a former freelance writer and political columnist in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Writing Coach. Speaker. Director of the Christian Foundations for Ministry program, and presently enrolled in the Anglican School of Ministry Master of Ministry program.

One Response to Making less, enjoying it less?

  1. Anonymous says:

    “wages in two smaller Arkansas counties, Little River and Calhoun, led the entire State at $880 and $855 per week, respectively.”

    Why are the highest wages in two rural counties?

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