Arkansas Economy

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.

After ending fiscal 2016 with a $177 million surplus, state tax collections in the first month of the new budget year came in well below forecast as a number of economic indicators point to slowing business activity in the second half of 2016.

According to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration’s monthly financial report, net available general revenues for the first month of fiscal 2017 totaled $400.6 million, $1.4 million or 0.4% above last year and $7 million or 1.7% below forecast.

Conway has landed another Fortune 500 company.

Already home to top-tier companies such as Acxiom, HP, International Paper and Kimberly-Clark, Insight – a global provider of information technology solutions – announced it will add a sales center in the Meadows Office and Technology Park in Conway. Talk Business & Politics reports Insight expects to hire 50 more workers in Conway to its new, existing workforce of around 170.

education schools
arkansas.gov

A New York securities and class action law firm has proposed a $300 million settlement with Wall Street financial service giant State Street Corp. on behalf of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, the lead plaintiff in a federal case going back more than five years.

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.

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