JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The City of Jonesboro's continued job growth over the past decade has earned recognition from Forbes. They've listed Jonesboro as one of the top 10 small cities for jobs in 2013. Something city officials say is thanks to a wide economic base in the city.
"Economic development is our top priority," President and CEO of the Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce, Mark Young told Region 8 News. "From healthcare, education, retail, agriculture, industrial, construction. All areas of our economy have seen growth over the last decade."
That continued growth is something Forbes took into account when they listed Jonesboro as #7 in small cities for jobs in 2013. But that's not all.
"We're 8th overall out of 398 Metropolitan Statistical Areas," Young explained.
"Jonesboro is actually the only metropolitan area in the state of Arkansas that saw job growth during the recession," he said.
Young said because the city has such a wide economic base, if one area were to suffer, the city would still be okay.
"That is part of what makes Jonesboro unique in terms of that diverse, economic base and that's part of the reason why, even in difficult times through the national economy, we saw job growth."
It's not just a wide range of job possibilities. Young told Region 8 News that the Labor Market Area in Region 8 supports Jonesboro as well.
"People from 11 counties, it's about an hour drive around Jonesboro, come to Jonesboro for jobs. Obviously they come here to shop and have entertainment and so Jonesboro's really become that regional hub," Young told Region 8 News.
Young said with multiple areas of town continuing to grow, he feels the nod from Forbes will only further boost jobs throughout Jonesboro.
"A lot of companies that are looking at a place to do business that are considering Jonesboro, see not only what we have locally but that regional market to serve as well."
Young said the latest unemployment numbers for Jonesboro sit at 6.5%. That's roughly half a percent below the state average and a little over a full percentage point below the national average.