Arkansas Economy

A breakdown of GDP growth rates by state and region.
U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

Arkansas’s gross domestic product, or GDP, grew at a higher rate than any other state in the nation through the first quarter of 2016. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis on Wednesday shows the state's 3.9 percent GDP growth outpacing the national rate of 1.2 percent.

The Director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Arkansas, Kathy Deck says other positive economic indicators preceded this measurement of the state’s economic output.

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%.

Governor's Radio Column: Trade Mission To Europe

Jul 16, 2016
Hutchinson Official
Office of the Governor

The following is a transcript of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's radio column for the weekend of July 15, 2016:

Last Saturday, I boarded a flight to London with a team from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission to attend the Farnborough International Air Show. Over the last 10 years, Arkansas has had a significant presence at the Farnborough Air Show – and this year was no exception. Attendees included 86 of the world’s top 100 aerospace companies and over 100,000 trade visitors from 56 countries.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks with reporters via telephone from Berlin.
Jacob Kauffman/KUAR

The state of Arkansas officially opened an office in Germany on Wednesday to gin up economic development. The opening, replete with a reception at the U.S. Embassy, came as Governor Asa Hutchinson’s trade mission to Europe nears its close. He also attended the Farnborough International Airshow near London.

Speaking via telephone from the heart of the European Union, Hutchinson said Arkansas needs to have a presence to secure trade and investment opportunities.

"Arkansas has to be here at the table competing with other states,” he said.

Chris Masingill Delta Regional Authority
Talk Business & Politics

Local leaders in Arkansas are getting new training from the Delta Regional Authority and the International Economic Development Council to make better use of existing resources. A two-day conference in North Little Rock wrapped up Tuesday. It's one of 32 being held in the eight-state Delta region.

Chris Masingill, federal co-chairman of the Delta Regional Authority, says the workshops are part of an effort to get information out to officials about how to maximize local efforts in economic development.

Members of the Arkansas Rice Federation have traveled to Cuba to discuss the future of trade between the U.S. and Cuba.
 
The delegation, which included Arkansas Agriculture Secretary Wes Ward, was briefed on developments in Cuban farming and also met with representatives of the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Foreign Trade, Havana University and Alimport, the state-owned operation responsible for agricultural imports and exports.
 

Governor Asa Hutchinson AEDC Mike Preston
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson touted new revenue numbers for the state Tuesday while making the case for further tax cuts. It comes as the Republican and an entourage are preparing for a trip abroad primarily focused on nurturing the state’s aerospace industry.

For fiscal year 2016, which ended at the end of June, the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration reported Tuesday net available revenue of $5.3 billion. That's $117 million higher than the previous year, though gross general revenue was down about three percent.

Arkansas has ended its fiscal year with a $177.4 million surplus. The state Department of Finance and Administration announced Tuesday the state's net available revenue for the fiscal year that ended June 30 totaled $5.3 billion. That's $117.3 million higher than the previous fiscal year.

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:

A lawsuit intended to introduce a second taxi cab company into Little Rock has passed an early hurdle. A motion by the City of Little Rock to dismiss the suit about a monopoly operator was denied in Pulaski County Circuit Court. Judge Alice gray issued the ruling on Thursday.

A city ordinance requires new cab companies that want to compete with the city’s one existing company obtain a permit granted based on “public convenience and necessity.” Ken Leininger, who wants to operate Ken’s Cab, had a permit denied in 2015.

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