Arkansas Economy

Talk Business and Politics reports

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Rotary Club of Fort Smith on Wednesday (June 1) by laying out a strategy for the future of Arkansas economic development.

Talk Business and Politics reports:

Retail giant Walmart is betting big on grocery pickup as a way to fend off Amazon’s fresh home delivery offering. But while the efforts are being accelerated by Walmart, consumers are slow to adopt the new service, according to a study by Fayetteville-based Field Agent and consultants close to the situation.

 

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.

State officials say Arkansas's unemployment rate has hit a record low, dropping to 3.9 percent in April.

The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services said Friday that the state also hit a new record for number of employed Arkansans. Last month, Arkansas's employment was at 1.3 million people - breaking a record that was previously set in May 2008.

Last month, the trade, transportation and utilities sector posted the largest gain, adding about 2,900 jobs. Leisure and hospitality jobs increased by 1,900, while jobs in professional and business services rose by 1,700.

Arkansas-based Simmons First National Corp. has announced plans to purchase Tennessee-based Citizens National Bancorp Inc. in a $77 million deal.

Simmons said in a news release Wednesday that the purchase includes 835,741 shares of Simmons common stock and $40.3 million in cash.

CNB operates nine financial centers in eastern Tennessee with assets of $552 million, loans of $352 million, deposits of $473 million and trust assets of $217 million.

The Jonesboro Advertising and Promotion Commission has tabled a request for a tax rebate for a planned convention center and hotel at Arkansas State University.

The panel decided Wednesday to delay voting on the request from O'Reilly Hospitality Management, which plans to build an Embassy Suites hotel and 40,000-square-foot convention center on the university's campus.

The Red River in southwest Arkansas.
US Geological Survey

The governor’s short-term highway funding plan is splitting the agenda with 14 other items in the special session of the Arkansas Legislature convening Thursday. Bills have yet to be filed but drafts are drawn up to re-organize the state’s levee system and to end a workers compensation fund among other items.

Gretchen Hall
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gretchen Hall, CEO of the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau, likes the numbers she sees.

Last year, Pulaski County accounted for 13,000 travel-related jobs and 6.1 million visitors who spent nearly $1.8 billion in travel expenditures. That translates into more than $31 million in travel-related local taxes and $69 million in travel-related state taxes.

Why is the capital city so attractive for visitors?

A proposed bill that would do away with the Workers’ Compensation Commission’s Death and Permanent Total Disability Trust Fund has support from some legislators and organized labor but not the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, which supports ending the fund, but after more consideration.

Tyson
Tyson Foods

Talk Business and Politics reports:

Before the market opens Monday, Tyson Foods is expected to post $403 million in net income for the second quarter of fiscal 2016 which ended. That equates to a Wall Street consensus of $1.03 per share, up 38% over the 75 cents per share reported in the same quarter of 2015.

The company posted net income of $313 million in the year-ago period.

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