- Associated Press - Saturday, March 19, 2016

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A regional employer survey suggests that northwest Arkansas companies want to create more than 3,100 jobs and invest more than $336 million in expansion during the next three years.

Arkansas Business reports (bit.ly/1puBJTC) that a quarter of the companies interviewed by the Northwest Arkansas Council for the report said they expect to expand in the coming year.

The annual employer retention and expansion survey was released Thursday by the council; 508 employers were confidentially.

The council reported that regional companies are optimistic about the local economy if still uncertain about the U.S. economy.

For the report, 188 employers who manufacture or distribute goods or are headquartered in northwest Arkansas were interviewed, and three-quarters of them reported an increase in sales in 2015.

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Information from: Arkansas Business, https://www.arkansasbusiness.com

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