FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — It’s graduation season, and many University of Arkansas graduates are looking to land their first job.
Jeff Cooperstein, a UA instructor who conducts a lot of research on the local economy, said more students are staying in Northwest Arkansas after graduation than ever before. He said the the continuous additions of outdoor activities and entertainment continues to boost the area’s quality of life and make it more attractive to these students.
Also, the combination of NWA’s all-time-low unemployment rate and the large number of jobs available in the area is what Cooperstein said makes the job search a lot easier for recent grads.
He said medical establishments are expanding, which creates a high demand for nurses in the area. There’s been a large boost in hospitality and construction in the region, so Cooperstein said those graduates shouldn’t have trouble finding a job either, and many firms and city governments are hiring engineers.
“Salary or wages are up in a lot of areas,” said Cooperstein. “So, the opportunity cost of not working is greater than it was before. So hopefully that’s going to encourage people to go back into the workforce, and we’ll get more in balance in terms of supply and demand.”
Cooperstein said the job market for teachers depends on how the LEARNS act will play out. He said if it leads to more private schools, the demand for teachers could increase, but if it pushes more parents to homeschool, there will be less of a need for new teachers.
Cooperstein said major tech companies may also be slower to hire now that people are heading back to in-person work, and the need for some of those workers has shrunk.