Arkansas Economy

Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas and federal officials have extended an agreement for a research center that's aimed at enhancing regulatory science.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding extending for another five years their partnership on the Arkansas Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science.

The center was established in 2011 at the FDA's National Center for Toxicological Research and is aimed at modernizing regulatory science to help move safer products to the market, according to the MOU.

River Market District
inarkansas.com

New employees of the City of Little Rock may receive a financial incentive to reside within the municipality.

The city’s Board of Directors is considering a $5,000 dollar gift for employees who buy homes in town, or $2,500 to employees who rent in Little Rock. The board discussed possible residency incentive for city employees at its meeting Tuesday.

City spokesperson Jennifer Godwin says the proposal was inspired by a recent failed initiative to require police officers to live within city limits.

Talk Business and Politics reports:

Low interest rates, stable loan demand and hyper competition characterized the banking climate in the state and nation, with net income for all U.S. banks up 1.46% in the second quarter of 2016.

jobs unemployment employment
www.purdue.edu

Arkansas’s unemployment rate remained stable in July at 3.9%. The rate was the same for June, after dropping for months. The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services released the figures Friday. The nation’s unemployment rate for the month also held steady at 4.9%.

Even though the number of people with jobs actually declined for the month by 2,700, the numbers were seasonally adjusted, with the professional and business service sectors remaining the strongest.

Mainstream Technologies will open a second location in downtown Conway, the 20-year old IT services firm announced on Thursday.

The Conway facility will begin operations in September with 15 new employees. Little Rock-based Mainstream provides managed services, custom software, and hosting to clients throughout the mid-South.

Fiscal second quarter net income for Wal-Mart Stores rose more than 8%, with adjusted per share earnings of $1.07 topping the consensus estimate of $1.02. Quarterly revenue of $120.854 billion also beat expectations.

Talk Business & Politics reports Walmart U.S. same-store sales rose 1.6%, marking the eighth consecutive quarter of positive comps with the closely watched financial metric.

Governor Asa Hutchinson Elyxor
Alden Walters / KUAR News

A software engineering company with an office in North Little Rock is expanding from four to 45 employees over the next five years, its leadership and Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Tuesday. Boston-based Elyxor supports clients around the world in finance, health care, eCommerce, industrial products and supply chains.

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.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) speaking at the FinTech Accelerator Gloval Investor Demo Day at the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The state of Arkansas is investing $1 million in discretionary funds over the next two years in a 50-50 partnership with the financial tech company FIS, to continue a program meant to bolster start-ups in the industry.

Governor Asa Hutchinson said he’ll also ask the legislature for $2 million to expand the accelerator concept to industries beyond the financial sector. He made the announcement Wednseday at FinTech’s Accelerator Global Investor Demo Day at the Clinton Presidential Library.

The jobless rate for all metro areas in or connected to Arkansas rose in June compared to May, but year-over-year job growth continued in the state’s largest metro areas, with Northwest Arkansas seeing a 5.16% gain and central Arkansas up almost 4%.

Jobless rates ranged from a low of 3.1% in Northwest Arkansas to a high of 5.7% in the Pine Bluff and Memphis-West Memphis metros, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data posted Wednesday.

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