Nonfarm job growth in Northwest Arkansas ranked No. 4 in the nation last year, preliminary information released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows.
The Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers MSA equaled its best job growth ranking in the past 25 years. It also ranked fourth nationally in 2001.
The year-end data, which includes information collected from 383 metropolitan statistical areas, is used by economic development professionals across the U.S. to gain insight into what’s happening in regions. Having the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers Metropolitan Statistical Area rank so high shows how impressive job growth was in 2013.
Northwest Arkansas increased total nonfarm jobs by 4.56 percent in 2013, meaning its rate of job growth was slower than only three MSAs: Midland, Texas (6.15 percent), Odessa, Texas (5.71 percent) and Winchester, Va. (4.62 percent).
There are about 9,000 more jobs in the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers MSA than there were at the end of 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows.
“Northwest Arkansas is one of the nation’s premiere job growth regions, and the statistics verify it,” said Mike Malone, president and CEO of the Northwest Arkansas Council. “What’s exciting about this news is that it comes at a time when we know more jobs are on the way. We know Redman and Associates, South Coast Baking and American Tubing will add larger numbers of jobs this year on the heels of the more than 1,500 jobs added by Serco in 2013. We also know there are many Northwest Arkansas companies that will be adding jobs in 2014.”
Kathy Deck, the director of the Center for Business and Economic Research in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, said the employment growth in Northwest Arkansas is broad-based.
“All of our employment sectors are showing year-over-year growth,” Deck said. “That kind of positive environment means that new and existing companies have enormous opportunities to thrive because of a strong regional customer base and increasing incomes.”
Whiile the arrival of a large Serco facility in Rogers highlighted 2013’s job growth, many of the region’s smaller companies grew markedly as well. For example, Movista owners Stan Zylowski and April Seggebrusch doubled the size of its workforce. The Bentonville company now employ 26 people.
Jonesboro ranked among the nation’s top growth places in 2013. It finished No. 11 in job growth rate, increasing jobs by 3.69 percent.
Since 1991, the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers MSA on seven occasions has ended a year ranked in the Top 20 in percentage job growth.
Northwest Arkansas was No. 4 in 2001 and 2013, No. 10 in 1994 and 2002, No. 12 in 1993, No. 17 in 1995 and No. 18 in 2005.