Arkansas Economy

Joint Light Tactical Vehicle JLTV
Lance Turner / Arkansas Business

Lockheed Martin says it's protesting the contract for a military vehicle it had hoped to assemble in south Arkansas being awarded to another company.

The Maryland-based company on Tuesday said it had filed a protest of the Army's decision last month to award a $6.7 billion contract to develop the joint light tactical vehicle to Wisconsin-based Oshkosh. Lockheed Martin was among three companies competing for the project, which it intended to build at its Camden facility in southern Arkansas.

Big River Steel
Johnathan Reaves / KASU News

Big River Steel has pre-sold nearly a quarter of the steel it is expected to produce over the next seven years, the company’s CEO told a legislative committee Wednesday.

Joint Light Tactical Vehicle JLTV
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Anticipation is building with an announcement expected soon about where the next generation of military combat vehicle will be built.

Last week, Arkansas Economic Development Commission executive director Mike Preston revealed that the U.S. Department of Defense has told him the award of the highly-coveted Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) will be announced on one of the next three Fridays – Aug. 28, Sept. 4, or Sept. 11.

Boon Tan World Trade Center of Arkansas
Jacqueline Froelich / KUAF

This year Congress voted to grant the executive branch fast-track authority to negotiate a flurry of international free trade agreements, most notably a 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The state says Arkansas' unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point in July to 5.6 percent. That's down from 6 percent a year ago.

The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services said Friday that there are 40,300 more Arkansans in the labor force than in July 2014.

military vehicle lockheed martin tom cotton asa hutchinson
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

Within the next month, Arkansas economic officials may declare an end of the week announcement as either Good Friday or Black Friday.

Arkansas Economic Development Commission executive director Mike Preston said Thursday that his agency has been told by Pentagon officials that an award of the JLTV superproject will be announced on either Friday, August 28, September 4, or September 11.

John Correnti Big River Steel
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The CEO of the state’s first superproject, Big River Steel CEO John Correnti, was found dead on an out-of-state business trip Tuesday morning, Talk Business & Politics has confirmed.

Correnti, 68, was the driving force for the $1.3 billion steel mill superproject, which is being built near Osceola (Mississippi Co.). As a former CEO of rival Nucor Steel, Correnti was a big fan of Arkansas where he once headed Nucor’s operations in the 1990’s.

Arkansas and U.S. motorists will likely see pump prices continue to move lower for the rest of the year, and may well see local gas prices ratchet down near the two dollar level ahead of the holiday season, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s short-term energy outlook released Tuesday (Aug. 11).

The state has saved $2.5 million in salaries during the last half of the state’s fiscal year from January 13 to June 30 as a result of a hiring freeze instituted by Gov. Asa Hutchinson, his office announced Tuesday.

Hutchinson’s office said the freeze has resulted in the state having 297 fewer state employees. Positions were frozen an average of 59 days, meaning Hutchinson’s office is reviewing all open positions. His office said 433 freeze requests are pending.

Hutchinson said his first act as governor was to institute the hiring freeze.

Arkansas is starting its fiscal year on a positive note, with the state collecting $6.8 million more in revenue than expected.

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration said the state's net available revenue in July totaled $399.2 million.

The state's fiscal year began July 1. The state's revenue was $3.9 million less than the same month last year.