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farm manufacturing, farm services, farm employment


The state of Arkansas enjoys the advantages of its unique central location in the nation, excellent natural surroundings, low cost of living, and one of the best business climates in the southern United States. It is home to several of the largest corporations in the world. Over the period 1980-2000, there was tremendous growth in the state’s economy. However, the growth was confined to specific regions that led to several socio-economic issues adversely affecting the state. To better understand the components and variations in economic growth, a county-wise shift-share analysis was conducted. Employment, a good indicator of economic growth, was used to analyze the changes in the local economic structure of the 75 counties in the state. Findings suggest that while services and retail trade continue to grow, manufacturing and the state/local government continue to be important employers for the state. Farm employment continues to decline, although farm-related manufacturing and services are becoming more important. This report provides a sectoral analysis of employment changes within the counties and is a potential point of reference for both government and industry engaged in community-level policy making and investment.

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