Craighead County voters optimistic about region's future, job opportunities mixed

Jul 29, 2014

A majority of Craighead County voters believe the region is heading in the right direction, but perceptions about job opportunities are mixed.  Those are the results of a poll conducted by Talk Business & Politics and Hendrix College.  Editor-in-chief of Talk Business is Roby Brock. 

“The most impressive number in this latest round of polling is that, by a two-to-one margin, residents in Craighead County feel their region of the state is moving in the right direction,” said Brock.  “53% consider Craighead County is moving in the right track while 26.5% believe the county is moving in the wrong direction.  That is very different from what we have seen in recent surveys over the last few years at the state and local level.  From what we have seen in the past, the right track/wrong track numbers are very close to each other.  We have also seen upside down numbers, where people have felt the economy in their particular area is moving in the wrong direction.  This result speaks volumes to the positivity in northeast Arkansas.”

While feelings were positive about the direction the region was going, opinions regarding job opportunities in Craighead County were mixed.

“Even though we had this general optimism that the county was moving in the right direction, the reality is that finding a job is still kind of a 50-50 split.  41% of those surveyed stated jobs are plentiful, while 39.5% say jobs are hard to find.  That is well within the statistical margin of error, you just have to consider that half of the statistical population believe jobs are abundant and other half feels things could be better.”

Brock says the results about job opportunities may appear mixed, but they are better numbers than what he has seen in other parts of the state. 

“I think the big takeaway from this latest round of data is that there is a great degree of optimism in Craighead County about where the economy is going and that jobs are plentiful.  41% is a really good number, whereas we have seen in some other communities and the state as a whole where some of answers to this question may be in the low teens, even in the single digit range during the worst part of the recession and recovery.”

471 Craighead County residents were surveyed and there was a margin of error of +/- 4.5%.  More information can be found here.