Press Release

Asa Arkansas's Governor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04.26.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Issues Statement on Record-Low Unemployment, Reduction in Government Positions

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today issued a response to reports from the National Bureau of Labor Statistics that show the state’s unemployment rate dropping to a record low 3.6 percent in March. In addition, there are 59,500 more Arkansans employed today than when Hutchinson took office in January of 2015.

Despite strong growth in the private sector, government employment in Arkansas has continued to fall. Upon taking office, Governor Hutchinson quickly instituted a state-wide hiring freeze. According to the latest estimates, the hiring freeze has resulted in the elimination of approximately 1,400 positions from state agency budgets for the next biennium. These 1,400 positions, if filled, would have cost the state more than $41 million annually.

Governor Hutchinson released the following statement:

“I am pleased that Arkansas’ unemployment rate has again reached a new record-low, while workforce participation continues to rise. At the same time, we continue to reduce the number of employees on government payroll. Our continued momentum in private-sector growth demonstrates that a conservative approach to government can spur job creation and strengthen economic development, while also reducing the overall size of government.

“As Governor, I will continue to focus on streamlining state government and creating an atmosphere that enables the private sector to thrive.”

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)