Arkansas Economy

Local & Regional News
1:02 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Government Shutdown Strains Financial Resources Of Some Arkansas Workers

Our House Executive Director Georgia Mjartan talks with residents outside one of the organization's facilities.
Credit Malcolm Glover / KUAR

Depending on how long it lasts, the partial federal government shutdown could have a negative impact on the financial wellbeing of Arkansans who already work in low-wage jobs. 

AmeriCorps VISTA members complete projects designed to combat poverty in communities throughout Arkansas. However, the people who work for that national service program often depend on a federal stipend, which amounts to less than $5 an hour, as their only source of income during their year of fulltime service. 

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Local & Regional News
5:49 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Manufacturing Growth To Aid Arkansas, Midwest Economy

Mid-America Business Conditions index

A new survey of business leaders in Arkansas and eight other Midwest and Plains states suggests that manufacturing growth will help fuel the regional economy through the end of the year.

The overall Mid-America Business Conditions Index climbed for a second straight month in September, rising to 54.8 from 53.8 in August. 

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says growth among durable-goods manufacturers more than offset some pullbacks among nondurable-goods producers and value-added service firms.

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Economic Development
5:19 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Proposed Arkansas Steel Mill Mining Up Customers

State Economic Development Director Grant Tenille talks before the Arkansas Senate about the proposed Big River Steel Mill earlier this year.

The state's economic development director says a planned $1.1 billion steel mill for northeast Arkansas is on pace to close on its financing by the end of the year.

The Big River Steel mill is to employ 2,000 construction workers and, when operating, have more than 500 workers earning salaries averaging more than $75,000.

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Real Estate Market
6:54 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

More Arkansas Home Sales For July

Arkansas housing data spanning the first 7 months of this year show home sales were up nearly 11% in the state compared to the same period last year, according to the Arkansas Realtors Association. Sales numbers in the state also show a 13 % increase in home values.

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Local & Regional News
5:53 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Midwest, Plains Economic Index Rose In August

Mid-America Business Conditions Index

An economic index compiled from a survey of business leaders in Arkansas and eight other Midwest and Plains states rose slightly last month, the first increase since March.

The Mid-America Business Conditions Index hit 53.8 in August, compared with 53.5 in July.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says the results point to growth for the final quarter of this year but at about half the rate of the first quarter.

The survey results are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100.

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Local & Regional News
5:58 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Low Sales Tax Returns Hurt Fort Smith Budget

Officials in Fort Smith say a drop in sales tax revenue is continuing, so the city will have to continue with belt-tightening measures.

City officials say they are looking at a 4 percent cut in general fund spending. The budget woes are expected to affect the city's largest departments - police, fire and parks.

City Administrator Ray Gosack says spending reductions include equipment purchases and employee training.

Gosack says no additional cuts are expected in the 2013 budget year but the cuts could be extended into 2014 if revenues don't improve.

Economic Incentives
5:41 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

More Companies To Return Money To State Quick Action Fund

Hewlett-Packard Facility in Conway
Credit Michael Pirnique / Arkansas Business

There's more scrutiny now of Arkansas's economic incentives programs. Hewlett-Packard, which received $10 million from the Governor's Quick Action Closing Fund in 2008, announced earlier this year that it would be laying off employees at its Conway center.

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Local & Regional News
4:59 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Report: Rural Manufacturing Continues To Decline In Arkansas

Efforts to stimulate economic investment in rural communities across Arkansas are outlined in a new report by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.

Dr. Wayne Miller, an extension economist, says the Rural Profile of Arkansas 2013 report shows how many manufacturing jobs in small towns have been shipped overseas to South America and Asia in recent years.

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Local & Regional News
12:50 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Arkansas Unemployment Rate Up To 7.4 Percent

There has been a slight increase in the state’s unemployment rate, according to officials with the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services. The jobless rate for July was up one-tenth of a percentage point to 7.4 percent. 

Bernadette Coleman is the Bureau of Labor Statistics manager with the department. She says the small hike is partially due to seasonal factors.

"The summer has something to do with it. One thing I particularly think about is the school situation, because schools are still out in July… so the summertime does make a difference,” said Coleman.

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Local & Regional News
5:50 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Bass Pro To Start Hiring For Little Rock Store

Bass Pro Shops is about to start hiring for an Outdoor World store it is opening in southwest Little Rock.

The company says a job fair begins Aug. 19 and runs through Aug. 21 at the Metroplex Event Center on Colonel Glenn Road near Interstate 430.

The company says it is looking for full-time and part-time workers in a variety of roles. The store will also have a Tracker Marine Boat Center.

Bass Pro says it is looking for cashiers, customer service and receiving clerks, as well as people to work in various store departments.

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