State Workforce Services Department Launches New Lifestyle Budget Calculator

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 193 views 

The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services’ Labor Market Information division On Tuesday launched a new website that will help Arkansas high school and college students plan for the future based on the lifestyle they want to achieve.

The website, called Real-Life Arkansas, features a lifestyle calculator that features housing expense information and average cost-of-living data on many of the state’s larger metropolitan areas.

“Many high school students are unsure about which career path they want to pursue after they graduate—but they are quite certain about the lifestyle they want,” said ADWS Director Daryl Bassett. “By taking a quick survey on the website about basic lifestyle expectations like housing, transportation and entertainment, users will find out how much money they need to make and which careers pay enough to cover those lifestyle expenses.”

The website also offers more options to help users plan for the future. By simply entering a desired salary, the system will provide information about jobs that pay that salary, what sort of education and training is needed to get there, and what the job market looks like for those occupations.

For those who already know the occupation they want to pursue, the system will tell them how much that occupation will pay so they can work backward to create a budget using that salary.

Currently, DWS has an annual budget of more than $1.7 billion, and offers employment and unemployment services to job seekers at DWS centers across the state. Through its portal, the Labor Market Information division also offers a database that includes information on occupational wage information, demand occupation lists and other local, state and federal economic and workforce data.

Bassett recently told Talk Business & Politics that one of his long-term goals for the agency is to make the state unemployment insurance process fully automated.