- Associated Press - Sunday, December 16, 2018

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A report says the number of full-time Arkansas state employees dropped during the past year.

The report by the state Department of Finance and Administration says the number of workers among state agencies and higher-education institutions during the fiscal year that ended June 30 declined by 754 to 59,469.

Although the number of state employees dropped, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports salaries and benefits increased by $192 million, or 4.9 percent, to $4.1 billion. The report says the increase includes increases in salaries and benefits among both agencies and higher-education institutions.

The 754-employee drop in state employment is the largest decline since a 1985 law required agencies and higher-education institutions to report employment. Their ranks declined for the first time in 2011, by 71, and then by 71 again in 2014.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com

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