Arkansas Economy

Arkansas and U.S. motorists will likely see pump prices continue to move lower for the rest of the year, and may well see local gas prices ratchet down near the two dollar level ahead of the holiday season, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s short-term energy outlook released Tuesday (Aug. 11).

The state has saved $2.5 million in salaries during the last half of the state’s fiscal year from January 13 to June 30 as a result of a hiring freeze instituted by Gov. Asa Hutchinson, his office announced Tuesday.

Hutchinson’s office said the freeze has resulted in the state having 297 fewer state employees. Positions were frozen an average of 59 days, meaning Hutchinson’s office is reviewing all open positions. His office said 433 freeze requests are pending.

Hutchinson said his first act as governor was to institute the hiring freeze.

Arkansas is starting its fiscal year on a positive note, with the state collecting $6.8 million more in revenue than expected.

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration said the state's net available revenue in July totaled $399.2 million.

The state's fiscal year began July 1. The state's revenue was $3.9 million less than the same month last year.

This coming weekend will be a chance for Arkansas families to save money on back to school supplies. The annual tax holiday, which was approved by the state legislature in 2011, relieves shoppers of having to pay state and local sales taxes on certain products.

Items needed for students, along with some clothes and accessories within given price ranges are sold tax free.

Metova CEO John Adams
Talk Business & Politics

Officials with Metova, Inc. and the city of Conway announced Thursday that the emerging tech firm is looking to add 100 employees to its workforce in the next few months.

Metova builds apps for major companies like Yelp, Dropbox, eHarmony and Microsoft and it is active in cybersecurity protection for private firms and the federal government.

Lockheed Martin Camden patriot missile
Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin Corp., which is awaiting word on the Pentagon’s high-stakes $30 billion Joint Light Vehicle Project, received a much smaller multi-billion dollar contract last week that will keep its Camden production facility busy for a long time.

On Friday, the Bethesda, Maryland-based defense giant received news that U.S. and allied military forces are set to upgrade key missile defense capabilities under a new $1.5 billion contract for production and delivery of Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3 missiles and PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement) missiles.

Natural Gas Drilling Mt. Vernon in Faulkner County
Arkansas Times

BHP Billiton said Tuesday that it plans to make further spending cuts to its U.S. onshore oil and gas development, pushing the Australia industrial giant’s current U.S. shale play budget down nearly 60% from $3.7 billion to $1.5 billion for the upcoming fiscal year.

Of that operating budget, the Sydney, Australia-based mining and industrial conglomerate plans to spend only $200 million in the Arkansas shale play to maintain ongoing production at 45 natural gas wells that the company has already drilled and completed.

military vehicle lockheed martin tom cotton asa hutchinson
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

Top Lockheed Martin executives said they expect to hear a decision in August or September on two high stakes Pentagon contracts that will play a large role in the U.S. military’s future ground and air combat effectiveness, including the $30 billion Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) project that could land in Camden’s Highland Industrial Park.

jobs unemployment employment
www.purdue.edu

Arkansas’ unemployment rate fell one-tenth of a percentage point in June as the state’s civilian labor pool grew by 200 workers, according to U.S. labor force data released Tuesday by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services.

The Little Rock Technology Park Authority Board on Wednesday unanimously approved a motion by Chairwoman Mary Goode to request a $6.8 million advance from the City of Little Rock to fund the purchase of prime downtown real estate from Stephens Inc. in the fast-growing Creative Corridor on Main Street.

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