The economy of Arkansas emerged from its doldrums and is poised to grow throughout 2017 and beyond according to Dr. Michael Pakko, the chief economist and state economic forecaster. With significant growth expected, it is no surprise that the state of Arkansas predicts that the number of jobs for paralegals will increase by nearly twice the national rate between 2014 and 2024. According to the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, the number of jobs for paralegals will increase by 15.07% during this period and should result in an average of 52 jobs a year becoming available.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that paralegals in Arkansas earned an average salary of $39,700 ($19.09 hourly) as of 2016. Arkansas paralegals in the top 10% earned nearly 50% more, making an average of $59,240 ($28.48 hourly).
Arkansas paralegals with significant business experience not only find work in corporate legal departments for high-profile companies like Wal-Mart and Tyson foods, but those who are knowledgeable in patent and intellectual property law will surely benefit from the expansion of home-grown tech companies such as Inuvo and Metova.
In fact, Governor Hutchinson sang the praises of the state’s tech industry during an April 2017 speech at the Women in Information Technology Conference held in Little Rock. The Governor cited the relocation of Boston’s tech startup Elixr to Little Rock as proof of the viability of Arkansas for innovative businesses.
Paralegal Salaries in the Major Metropolitan Areas of Arkansas
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides detailed information on the 2016 salaries for paralegals throughout Arkansas.
With job growth rates in Fort Smith projected to be greater than 40% over the next ten years, this area offers significant opportunities for paralegals. Between its strong manufacturing base and the recent addition of a major medical center, the area provides a variety of employment opportunities. The Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce reported that in 2013 and 2014 alone, $424 million in capital was invested in the city, which saw more than 3,200 new jobs added during those years.
- Average – $38,460 ($18.49 hourly)
- Top 10% – $51,130 ($24.58 hourly)
- Average – $44,860 ($21.57 hourly)
- Top 10% – $68,130 ($32.76 hourly)
- Average – $33,810 ($16.26 hourly)
- Top 10% – $39,040 ($18.77 hourly)
- Average – $38,630 ($18.57 hourly)
- Top 10% – $49,260 ($23.68 hourly)
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway:
- Average – $45,068 ($21.67 hourly)
- Top 10% – $68,660 ($33.01 hourly)
Salary and employment data from the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2016.