That's according to Dr. Michael Pakko, chief economist for UALR's Institute for Economic Advancement .
Pakko also predicts Arkansas will be ahead of the game when the job market returns to where it was before the recession.
"I am forecasting continued progress, slow growth," he says. "We should get back to the same amount of jobs we had before the recession, probably by the end of 2014, if not sooner than that."
Dr. Pakko said it's now just a matter of waiting for the rest of the country to catch-up.