STATE EMPLOYEES DECLINE
NEARLY 1,600 UNDER GOV. HUTCHINSON
"Define and implement a system of performance-based pay for all state employees." Policy Foundation, 1998 recommendation
"Performance Pay. Some state agencies are using this strategy to advance efficiencies. The practice should be applied to other agencies." Policy Foundation Efficiency Project, 2016 recommendation
(October 2019) The number of state executive branch employees has declined by 1,589 since Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson took office in January 2015, public records show.
Employees at state agencies declined to 30,832 in the state's last fiscal year, which ended June 30.
State officials cited efficiency initiatives for the decline, with Gov. Hutchinson telling the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette1 the reduction in employees is a result of his administration's efforts to transform state government. "By taking a closer look at state agencies, we are able to devote additional personnel to areas that need it most, like in public safety at the State Police, while creating efficiencies in other areas without reducing state services," he said.
Gov. Hutchinson said his "goal is to right size state government to the needs of the state and to maximize the use of technology and best practices."
State agencies have reduced the number of employees through attrition and increased use of technology.
Agencies are also awarding performance pay increases to state employees to encourage innovation.
The Hutchinson administration cooperated with the Policy Foundation's Efficiency Project (2015-16), which recommended a panel to continue efforts. Gov. Hutchinson created a Transformation Advisory Board (2017-18) that led to this year's state government reorganization, the largest in nearly 50 years.
1 Michael R. Wickline. "State payroll up, employees fewer." Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. October 20, 2019