Wesley Brown/ Talk Business & Politics

Wesley Brown is the Business Editor for Talk Business & Politics. He can be reached by email at wesbrocomm@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @BrownOnBusiness.

Diamond Pipeline LLC

Talk Business and Politics reports

Little Rock-based Welspun Tubular has received a $47 million contract to manufacture two-thirds of the pipe needed to construct the 440-mile Diamond Pipeline, a controversial multistate project that will ship light, sweet premium grade crude oil from Cushing, Okla., to Valero Corp.’s sprawling refinery facility in Memphis, Tenn.

After ending fiscal 2016 with a $177 million surplus, state tax collections in the first month of the new budget year came in well below forecast as a number of economic indicators point to slowing business activity in the second half of 2016.

According to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration’s monthly financial report, net available general revenues for the first month of fiscal 2017 totaled $400.6 million, $1.4 million or 0.4% above last year and $7 million or 1.7% below forecast.

education schools
arkansas.gov

A New York securities and class action law firm has proposed a $300 million settlement with Wall Street financial service giant State Street Corp. on behalf of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, the lead plaintiff in a federal case going back more than five years.

Arkansas’ jobless rate remained unchanged in June from last month, however the state’s civilian pool remained declined slightly as employers added fewer worker to payrolls before the back-to-school employment surge begins in early August.

Labor force data, produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released Friday (July 22) by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, shows Arkansas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in June stayed at 3.8%, an all-time low first touched in May. A year ago, the June jobless rate was 5.3%.

Sun Paper
Arkansas Governor's Office

Sun Paper Industry of China says the planned early 2017 construction start for a $1.3 billion superproject in Clark County will likely be pushed back because of ongoing pre-engineering and feasibility studies for the bio-product paper mill.

“They are still trying to nail down some of the issues involving the project and it has taken more time than was expected,” said Julie Mullenix of Little Rock-based Mullenix & Associates, a local governmental relations, PR and lobbying firm.

As the state’s labor pool continues to grow and the jobless rate seeks new lows, U.S. workforce data shows Arkansas workers are taking home more money out of their paycheck than they ever have at any time in the past.

Business growth across the state took a step back in June, but a highly-watched economic indicator for the Mid-America region that includes Arkansas predicts Great Britain’s exit from the European Union will have minimal effect on the state economy. Talk Business & Politics reports:

An earlier proposed route for the Plains and Eastern Clean Line.
Clean Line Partners

Houston-based Plains & Eastern Clean Line expressed disappointment with the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources’ approval on Wednesday of legislation sponsored by U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, R-Rogers, that could halt one of the largest renewable energy infrastructure projects in recent U.S. history.

Leslie Rutledge Attorney General
Talk Business & Politics

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau moved forward late last week with a proposal that the Obama administration says will end “payday debt traps” despite an outcry from Arkansas Attorney General and industry critics of the plan who say it hurt low and moderate-income families who need access to quick, small-dollar loans.

 

Talk Business and Politics reports

Gov. Asa Hutchinson recently touted to business leaders that the state has added 42,000 new jobs and reached an all-time low jobless rate of 3.9% during the first 16 months of his administration.

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