Workforce Preparation and Employment Outcomes

Employment Outcomes: Arkansas

Percentage of individuals who were employed in Arkansas, by degree or certification type and by years since earning highest credential

What Is Measured?

The percentage of individuals employed in Arkansas in 2012

Who Is Counted?

Arkansas residents who attained their highest level of education between 2002 and 2011 in a certificate of proficiency, a technical certificate, or an associate degree program.

What It Tells Us

Those whose highest level education was a technical certificate had the highest rate of employment in Arkansas (76 percent) compared to those with certificates of proficiency (61 percent) and those with associate degrees (72 percent). When comparing by years since earning credential, there is a downward trend in the percentage employed as the years since earning credential increase. This may indicate that those with more experience in the labor force were more likely to leave Arkansas and be employed elsewhere, rather than that those with more experience are more likely to be unemployed (see “About the Data”).

Why It's Important

Labor force participation is consistently associated with higher levels of education, even among those who do not complete a degree or certificate. While a number of states report employment outcomes for students who have enrolled in a community college or completed a community college degree or certificate, the way in which these outcomes are reported and the populations on which outcome measures are based vary widely, making it difficult to compare these measures across states.

About the Data

“Arkansas residents” were those for whom the original state of residence when entering an Arkansas higher education institution was Arkansas.

Using the month and year of graduation from each credential identified, Department of Workforce Services unemployment insurance data were matched with education data from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education's Student Information System Database to obtain wage information in 2012. Since the self-employed, employees of the federal government, and graduates working outside of Arkansas do not have Arkansas unemployment insurance, they are not included in the analysis. Thus, “not employed in Arkansas” doesn't necessarily mean “not employed;” it includes both people who are unemployed and who are employed outside of the state.

Data Source

Arkansas Research Center and Hanover Research. (2014, February) Arkansas Education to Employment Report 2013. Conway, AR: Arkansas Research Center.

Walker, J. and Holland, G. (2011) Arkansas Education to Employment Report. Conway, AR: Arkansas Research Center.