Union County may fall far below the national weekly wage average of $955, however, its employees land just under the top tier of earners across the state, according to recent information released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In Arkansas, Union County reported an average wage of $798 weekly for its 17,488-person workforce during the fourth quarter of 2011, landing it among only eight counties that could boast weekly wages between $700 and $799. The group was outranked by only four counties which averaged more than $800 weekly among their workers.
The majority of the state fell short on weekly earnings with 34 reporting wages of $500 to $599 and 23 reporting $600 to $699. Only six counties of the 75 earned averages below $500 per week.
Nationwide, Arkansas’ overall 1,157,078 employees fell short of the nearly $1,000 per week average. However, Arkansas was by no stretch of the imagination the only one below the national average. Only 103 “large counties” across the U.S. — there was no definition for “large” provided in the release though Benton, Pulaski and Washington counties are among those listed — reported averages above the $955-mark. On the other side, 219 large counties averaged below the mark.
Looking at yearly progress, Arkansas’ workforce increased by .9 percent from December 2010 to December 2011, however that increased workforce experienced a 1.2 percent decrease in weekly wage averages. The decrease was the 19th greatest in the nation for the time period and earned Arkansas the no. 47 ranking in the country for weekly wage averages.