Arkansas Economy

Bill Clinton
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Former President Bill Clinton covered a range of topics Thursday at the 149th annual meeting of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce from the localized economic boon of his Presidential Library to unrest caused by a slew of high profile police stops resulting in the deaths of unarmed black people. Clinton also touched on the much different frustrations of rural white Americans.

Arkansas finance officials say a rise in sales and income tax collections last month pushed the state's revenue above last year's figures and expectations.

The Department of Finance and Administration on Tuesday said the state's net available revenue in November totaled $391.1 million, which was $41.4 million above the same month last year and $24.8 million above forecast.

The state's revenue for the fiscal year that began July 1 totaled $2.1 billion, which is $24.8 million above forecast.

Big River Steel
Johnathan Reaves / KASU News

A challenge to a $1.3 billion steel mill in Mississippi County could face additional hurdles if a suit against the superproject goes forward, attorneys for Big River Steel said in court papers late last week.

Arkansas’s unemployment rate dropped to its lowest point in nearly six years sitting at six percent in October, according to a report released Friday by the Department of Workforce Services. At this point last year the unemployment rate was 7.6 percent.

Michael Pakko, an economist with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, said the latest report is another encouraging sign of growth.

The Delta Regional Authority will invest $1.3 million into eight projects across Arkansas – grant money aimed at boosting economic development in rural parts of the state. Leaders said the money will help create or retain 1,050 jobs.

The eight projects and funding include:

Osceola’s Infrastructure Upgrades Linked To Big River Steel, Other Projects

Nov 18, 2014

A new or renovated airport, as well as improvements to the city’s water and sewer system, are near and long-term goals for Osceola’s economic future, the town’s mayor said Tuesday.

Dickie Kennemore said council members met Monday with officials with Little Rock-based McClelland Engineering about the water/sewer projects as well as voted to hire North Little Rock-based firm, Garver Engineering, to complete a feasibility study on the airport issue.

Consumer Confidence In Arkansas On The Rise, Still Trails Rest Of U.S.

Nov 18, 2014

Arkansans were feeling better about the state of the economy heading into the fall, rebounding from negative sentiments earlier this summer when consumers across the state were feeling gloomy about their current economic conditions and long-term prospects, according to the Fall 2014 Arvest Consumer Sentiment Survey released Tuesday (Nov. 18).

The Uber app connects passengers with drivers using personal cars who are not direct employees.
wikimedia.org

There is now another option besides taxis and buses to motor around Little Rock but it may not be legal. The ride-sharing service Uber began operations in Little Rock Thursday. It connects would-be passengers and drivers using personal cars through a mobile app.

In recent months the city of Little Rock has been crafting a new ordinance to regulate Uber’s operation with their input.

Healthy October Pulls Arkansas Tax Revenues Ahead Of Last Year

Nov 4, 2014

October state tax collections rose a healthy 8.1% above last year and pulled 4.7% above forecast, but that simply moved year-to-date numbers into a slightly better position.

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration released its October revenue report that showed net available general revenues totaling $402.8 million for the month, up $30.0 million above last year and $18.2 million above forecast.

Steel Firm Picks Osceola For $20 Million Plant, 45 New Jobs

Oct 28, 2014

The Material Works Ltd. announced Tuesday it will build an advanced flat rolled toll processing center adjacent to the new Big River Steel mill in Osceola, Arkansas.

Construction will begin in second quarter 2015 with the facility expected to be fully operational to coincide with Big River Steel’s opening in 2016. TMW will invest approximately $20 million in the new facility where 45 new jobs will be created.

Great River Economic Development official Clif Chitwood said Tuesday that Osceola and Mississippi County have been busy in recent years due to persistence.

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