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Low Cost of Living in Conway, Arkansas

Updated on April 15, 2015

Best Places In the USA

Some of the Best Places in America for work and living across the lifespan are college towns. One of these is both a hot spot for students and retires - Gainesville. You find these places throughout the nation while searching for schools and work.

Some college towns are attractive to new business because of lower or no state taxes, or tax incentives to new companies. This is especially true of towns and cities that have federally designated Enterprise Zones like that in NYC for commercial and residential development.

Hewlett Packard brought hundreds of job openings with them to Arkansas when they opened their 150,000 square-foot facility in Conway, Arkansas in 2009.

Acxiom Corporation is the leading IT company in Conway, however, and the largest employer overall with an employee pool of at least 2,300 people.

Conway is home to 16 manufacturing companies, including big names like Kimberly Clark, Snap-On, Virco, and International Paper.

Oil & Natural Gas are major contributors to the economy through at least four major companies: Southwestern Energy, Schlumberger, Saxon Drilling, and Cudd Energy Services. Since 2010 we have heard about oil and natural gas discoveries and ramp ups for production in North Dakota, Ohio, and Pennsylvania; but Conway holds a natural gas deposit that can produce hundreds of new jobs in short order.

The Conway Development Corporation maintains a website that is better than most development corporation sites I have seen in the last 15 years. Conway shows that it plans to succeed.

Local universities are among the largest in the state of Arkansas.

University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Faulkner County, is respected for its programs in Education, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy. It offers four Residential Colleges as well.

Conway Idol


American Idol Kris Allen lives in Conway. He attended University of Central Arkansas.


The New Zone

In keeping with regional sports culture, one small business in Conway is called The Hog Zone, specializing in sports-related items for parties and other gatherings. The Hog Zone on Facebook

Other businesses in Downtown Conway have been improved, with 10 major buildings refurbished between 2006 - 2010. Streets and sidewalks have also been under reconstruction to upgrade this Enterprise-type zone. Hewett-Packard is one of the corporate partners in this ongoing project that began ion 2001, along with 50+ others. Eight Season Winner of American Idol Kris Allen, lives in Downtown Conway already and additional living spaces are under construction.

In addition to living spaces, new businesses include shops, clubs (the county is "dry", though - no alcohol served), service agencies, a Christmas store, dining opportunities, business services, and several others - including the fun of Arkansas Portable Toilets. You have to see their colorful trucks

Development in the Downtown urban area is spurred more heavily by the participation of small private businesses than by government participation, although the City of Conway is a partner in the ongoing development project.

Front Street, Conway, 25 Miles Northwest of Little Rock

A markerFront Street, Conway AR -
Front St, Conway, AR 72032, USA
get directions


The Toad Suck Festival Story -- Steamship captains anchored here & drank in local taverns, waiting for the river to rise. Folks said they drink beer 'til they burst like fat toads.

Toad Suck Legacy

show route and directions
A markerToad Suck Dam on the Arkansas River -
Toad Suck Ferry Lock and Dam, Cadron, AR 72034, USA
get directions

Steamship captains anchored here & drank in local taverns, waiting for the river to rise. Folks said they drink beer 'til they burst like fat toad

B markerToad Suck Park -
Toad Suck Ferry Damsite Park East, Prince St, Conway, AR 72034, USA
get directions

C markerToad Suck Park -
Toad Suck Ferry Damsite Park, Bigelow, AR 72016, USA
get directions

The US Navy Ship USS Eastport, on the Arkansas River, likely in 1863
The US Navy Ship USS Eastport, on the Arkansas River, likely in 1863 | Source

Employment Trends - Jobs Increasing in Conway

Job listings have been stable since 2013.
Job listings have been stable since 2013. | Source

Low Cost of Living and triple the Jobs

Conway, Arkansas offers a lower cost of living index than most of the other communities in the US, but not an incredible abundance of jobs to go with it.

However, 4,700 job listings were available on the Internet for this area in a snapshot of February 2012 -- Increasing to 13,000 jobs in April 2015.

The salaries of half of these listed job vacancies falls between $40K - 79K/year. With a lower cost of living than the national average, these higher salaries will go even farther in their spending power.

Most of the available jobs listed in this snapshot involve customer and business services, with a large number in Management, Health, and Information Technology..

Top 10 High Demand Jobs

  1. Retail Sales People
  2. Taco Bell and McDonald's Crews
  3. Baristas and related Shift Supervisors
  4. Pizza Hut Jobs: Shift Managers, Assistant Managers, Team Members, Drivers, General Managers
  5. Trucking - Owner Operators
  6. Assistant Managers - Fields other than food service.
  7. Nursing Assistants and Patient Care Techs
  8. Event Specialists
  9. Store Managers
  10. Product Data Specialists

Additional High Demand Jobs in Conway

  1. Field Compliance Operators and other Engineers
  2. AT&T Full-Time Retail Sales
  3. Multi-Skilled Assistants
  4. Surgical Technologists
  5. Healthcare support jobs - Certified Nursing Assistants and others.

Top Employers in Conway

The most frequently hiring employers in the Conway area include those in Little Rock, which is fewer than 25 miles to the southeast. These companies are:

  • Whole Foods Market, which is purchasing many smaller health-food stores and markets in the 2010s;
  • Hewlett Packard and Acxiom;
  • Rush Trucking, United Vision Logistics, Builders Transport, and Gordon Trucking;
  • AT&T;
  • Lighthouse Academies;
  • US National Guard;
  • Southwestern Energy;
  • Caterpillar - Equipment and trucks;
  • Dining places like McDonald's, Pizza Hit, Taco Bell, and Cracker Barrel;
  • Wyzant Tutoring,
  • Crossmark;
  • Conway Regional Health, Advanced Medical, Children's' Hospital, Baptist Health;
  • Little Rock City Government;
  • Staffmark; and
  • Kelly Services.

Conway Job Market

show route and directions
A markerConway, Arkansas -
Conway, AR, USA
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B markerLittle Rock, Arkansas -
Little Rock, AR, USA
get directions

Just 25 miles southeast of Conway on I-40.

Education and Training

  • Arthur's Beauty School of Arkansas
  • BMA Seminary 1501 College Avenue in Conway AR. Next to Central Baptist College.
  • Central Baptist College
  • Conway OB-GYN College Next to the College park Family Clinic.
  • Conway Vocational Center (public school) 2300 Prince Street AR.
  • Hendrix College www.hendrix,edu/
  • University of Central Arkansas

Largest Colleges and Universities

show route and directions
A markerUniversity of Central Arkansas -
University of Central Arkansas, 201 Donaghey Ave, Conway, AR 72035, USA
get directions

B markerHendrix College -
Hendrix College, 1600 Washington Ave, Conway, AR 72032-3080, USA
get directions

C markerCentral Baptist College, Conway AR -
Central Baptist College, 1501 College Ave, Conway, AR 72034, USA
get directions

Central High School, Little Rock

Little Rock Nine - students who helped end segregation.
Little Rock Nine - students who helped end segregation. | Source

© 2012 Patty Inglish


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    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      I love Little Rock. great Hub. Arkansas is a great state... voted way up


    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 5 years ago from North America

      Looks like Conway also as one of the lowest costs of living in the US. Thanks for posting!

    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image

      Ian D Hetri 5 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      I am glad I learnt something about America in this great hub. Useful and voted up.


    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 5 years ago from North America

      hanks for stopping by and commenting!

    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image

      Ian D Hetri 5 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      You welcome Patty.

    • incomeguru profile image

      Oyewole Folarin 5 years ago from Lagos

      This is a very useful hub. But, how easy it's getting a job in this locality? I know that employment should be based on equity and justice.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 5 years ago from North America

      And so it should.

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