FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The 25th Annual Arkansas Poll conducted by the University of Arkansas shows the economy is the top concern for residents.
Those polled say they are concerned about the state of the economy, but according to business leaders, Northwest Arkansas stands out compared to other regions.
“If you look at our overall economy, it’s just one that’s as strong as it’s ever been. Certainly here in Northwest Arkansas,” said Nelson Peacock, the CEO and President of the Northwest Arkansas Council.
He says that compared to the rest of the state, Northwest Arkansas’ economy is strong.
“I think it’s more about what people are expecting to happen. But the state of the economy, especially in northwest Arkansas, is really strong, right now,” said Peacock.
He says this week, the council released a report about the state of Northwest Arkansas’ economy.
“But when you look at the numbers specifically, for Northwest Arkansas, it doesn’t match the feelings,” said Steve Cox, the senior vice director of economic development of the Rogers Lowell Chamber of Commerce.
Those feelings are expressed in the university’s poll. Dr. Janine Parry is the director of The Arkansas Poll, which polls about education, economy and politics. She says the economy is just as important as in previous years.
“There are just a lot of mentions that have to do typically with both the macro and the macroeconomic situation,” said Parry.
She says economic concerns are a reflection of one’s own experience. Cox says Northwest Arkansas has more opportunities.
“Northwest Arkansas has Wal-Mart, Tyson, J.B. Hunt and all of the supplier community that serves the major corporation, but we also have a strong manufacturing base, several good manufacturers like Gladd Manufacturing Becker in Rogers. And then, we’re starting to see a more and more vibrant startup community,” said Cox.
Peacock says he has an open mind about the state of Northwest Arkansas’ economy.
“Hopefully, you know, government policymakers will continue to do the right thing. Right now, the economy continues to grow and inflation is at pretty low rates comparatively. So hopefully that will continue in the future,” said Peacock.
The full poll summary report along with protocols and historic outcomes can be found here.