Which Ark. governors were best on jobs? | Arkansas Blog

Which Ark. governors were best on jobs?

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Roby Brock at his Talk Business blog shares details from a new Arkansas Policy Foundation study focusing on annual job growth rates under Arkansas governors since World War II. (The Arkansas Policy Foundation is a conservative think tank based in Little Rock.)

Interestingly, two of the three Republican Governors in the last sixty years have the worst jobs performance record. Former Governor Frank White actually governed during a recession, when the state averaged an 0.8 percent annual loss in its non-farm employment base. Current Governor Mike Huckabee has a pretty anemic jobs record, too, compared to his peers. Jobs have only netted 1.0 percent annual growth during his decade on the job, compared to the national annual average of 1.3 percent. ...

So who was among the best? David Pryor and Dale Bumpers saw the state’s employment base expand annually by 5.4 percent and 5.0 percent respectively during their tenures. Orval Faubus presided over 5.1 percent annual jobs growth during his gubernatorial stint.

Here is the complete rundown with Arkansas and U.S. annual averages:

Governor                             Arkansas      U.S.
Ben Laney (D)                      3.3%        1.9%
Sid McMath (D)                     4.1%        3.1%
Francis Cherry (D)               0.6%       -0.8%
Orval Faubus (D)                 5.1%        2.6%
Winthrop Rockefeller (R)  2.8%        2.1%
Dale Bumpers (D)               5.0%        2.4%
David Pryor (D)                   5.4%        3.7%
Bill Clinton (D)                      1.7%        1.2%
Frank White (R)                 -0.8%       -1.2%
Bill Clinton (D)                      3.8%        2.3%
Jim Guy Tucker (D)             3.4%        2.7%
Mike Huckabee (R)              1.0%        1.3%


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