With the national economy in question lately, job seekers may wonder where they should take their professional skills.  Many regional economies are suffering from corporate bankruptcy, job loss, and population decline.

But not in Little Rock.

The recent revitalization of the downtown area has attracted major corporations in transportation, services, and manufacturing.  In the last five years, Little Rock has created one of the nation’s top 15 most aggressive development markets, and that market is expected to double in size over the next 20 years.

According to the September 2011 issue of Kiplinger’s, Little Rock is one of the U.S’s top 10 cities, based on cost of living, quality of life and strong economies.  “Little Rock’s job market boasts a diverse economy, including a 500-employee Caterpillar factory in North Little Rock, the headquarters of IT company Acxiom, and world-class medical centers. The completion of the Clinton Presidential Library in 2004 sparked a downtown renaissance, including construction of hundreds of high-rise condos. The city was cushioned from the recession somewhat by more than $1 billion in new corporate investments in 2007 and 2008, during which unemployment remained just below 8%.”

And with a relatively low cost of living–about 91% of the national average–Little Rock is a very affordable place to live.

Industrial Growth

The top three industries in the Little Rock Metro area are:

  • Biotechnology.  UAMS is the center of biotechnology research in Arkansas.  The medical school also supports local start-up biotechnology companies that help to invigorate the local economy.
  • Aviation. In the state of Arkansas, the aviation and aerospace industry is spread across 100 companies and 10,000 employees.  Concentrated in Little Rock and Hot Springs, this industry accounted for $1 billion in exports in 2006.
  • Agriculture.  On the whole, Arkansas is primarily a farming state.  Rice, soybeans, timber and poultry are the state’s biggest agricultural exports and Little Rock claims a prime trade location on the Arkansas River.

UAMS (including affiliates) is one of the largest employers in the city.  Other major employers include Acxiom, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Raytheon Aircraft Company, and Entergy.

In addition, the area’s hospitals, clinics, and banks attract other corporations that offer technical supporting services.  And like any other metro area, teachers, therapists, accountants and nurses are all in high demand.

Job Listing Sites

In addition to popular worldwide job service sites such as CareerBuilder and Monster, several locally-focused websites offer job searches for the Little Rock area.

Arkansas Online offers a detailed search and relevant results with no registration required unless the user wants to save job listings or upload a resume.  Arkansas Online is a service of Little Rock’s largest newspaper, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Other options include Arkansas Jobs and Jobs in Little Rock.