Texarkana is a rural labor market. Texarkana is the largest region’s hub for employment, legal services, retail, heath services, education, entertainment and culture activity between these markets:
-Dallas – Fort Worth, TX MSA
-Little Rock, AR MSA
-Shreveport, LA MSA
-Fort Smith, AR MSA.
Drive distance from Texarkana to these centers of commerce range from 75 miles to 190 miles; therefore, a significant number of employees drive for a long distance to be gainfully employed.
The Texarkana MSA which comprises the Texas county of Bowie and the Arkansas Counties of Little River and Miller has a population of about 154,000. Its day time population swells because of commuters, 22.9% of the region’s workforce drives between 50 to 75-miles to and from work each day. There are about 1.1 million individuals living within 75-miles of Texarkana.
Historically the Texarkana metro area unemployment rate is at a surplus as compared to the state averages of Arkansas, Lousiana, Oklahoma and Texas. Quality job creation has been low forcing over 8,700 workers to commute from the Texarkana Economic Region to outside jobs, particularly to Dallas-Forth Worth, Shreveport, Tyler and Longview metro-areas. This represents a large labor pool of quality talent that could be tapped into with additional local quality job opportunities.
There are over 32 institutions of higher learning within 100 miles of Texarkana. In fact, Texarkana is now known as a College Town because there are 12 institutions of high education in the 30-mile market with nine located in the immediate Texarkana area. These institutions are graduating thousands of certificated and degreed individuals annually. Because the Texarkana region fails to create an equal number of job opportunities, it is a net exporter of quality talent.