Arkansas Economy

Arkansas Economy
5:59 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Ft. Smith Tops Economic Index Of Arkansas Cities

The city of Fort Smith is atop a latest ranking of the economic performance of Arkansas cities.

The Arkansas Tech Business Index tracks retail sales, construction, the housing market and unemployment rates of 16 Arkansas cities.

Ft. Smith beat out Bentonville, which had been atop previous months’ rankings in business activity. Mark Fusaro is an economist with Arkansas Tech and compiles the business index. He says Ft. Smith’s retail sales have always been strong.

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Local & Regional News
12:22 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Arkansas May Unemployment Rate Drops

The rate of unemployment in Arkansas dropped from 6.6 percent to 6.4 percent during the month of May. It has also dropped more than a full percentage point since the same period last year, when it stood at 7.5 percent in May 2013.

While sectors like educational and health services displayed a lot of growth in May, areas like construction and manufacturing did not. UALR economist and state economic forecaster Michael Pakko says the new numbers do not reflect “unambiguously positive news.”

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Local & Regional News
11:16 am
Fri June 13, 2014

State OKs $2 Million For New Jonesboro Plant

The Arkansas Economic Development Commission is providing $2 million for a new company to locate in a former wind turbine plant in Jonesboro.

The commission said Thursday that the money will help TrinityRail Maintenance Services Inc. convert the now-closed Nordex USA wind turbine plant for its processes.

According to The Jonesboro Sun, the funding is based on TrinityRail creating up to 350 jobs for the community.

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Local & Regional News
6:09 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Annual Survey Of 75 Largest Private Arkansas Companies Shows Growth

Credit Arkansas Business

Arkansas Business released its annual survey of the 75 largest private companies in the state in this week's issue, finding improving revenues and that many companies are making expensions.

Four new companies qualified to make the list: Summerwood Partners, Ritter & Co., Douglas Cos. and ABC Financial.

The 75 largest private companies in Arkansas generated total revenue — self-reported and estimated — of $31.15 billion in their most recent fiscal years, and the price of entry to the list was $88.8 million.

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River Navigation
1:47 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Arkansas Waterways To Get Boost From Federal Water Legislation

A map of ports in Arkansas

Now that Congress has overwhelmingly passed a water resources bill, which awaits President Obama’s signature, officials who oversee Arkansas’s navigable waterways say infrastructure along the state’s rivers will likely benefit. All members of the state’s congressional delegation supported the legislation.

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Local & Regional News
9:15 am
Fri May 23, 2014

$2.9 Million In Grants For 5 Arkansas Airports

Three members of the Arkansas congressional delegation say five airports in the state will share in $2.9 million in federal grants.

Sens. Mark Pryor and John Boozman and Rep. Tim Griffin announced Thursday that the Federal Aviation Administration is awarding the grants for airport facility upgrades and improvements.

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Local & Regional News
1:40 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Arkansas Unemployment Rate Drops In April To 6.6 Percent

The unemployment rate in Arkansas fell by three-tenths of one percent in April - down from 6.9 percent in March to 6.6 percent.

Arkansas' Department of Workforce Services said Friday that the civilian labor force decreased by 8,300 because of 5,100 fewer people unemployed and 3,200 fewer workers.

Department spokeswoman Becky Heflin said in a news release that the number of Arkansans without a job in April stood at 86,700 - a decline of 12,300 in the number of unemployed from the 99,000 who were jobless in April 2013.

Local & Regional News
6:10 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Saline And Craighead Counties Collect Signatures To Go Wet


A committee called "Our Community, Our Dollars" is collecting signatures to make Saline County in central Arkansas and Craighead County in northeast Arkansas wet counties.

Starting this week through early July, residents in the two counties can sign a petition to allow the sale of alcohol.

Jay Allen, president of the organization that began the petition drive, said this would give voters a chance to voice their opinions.

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Local & Regional News
1:56 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Osceola Approves Revenue Bonds For Steel Mill

The Osceola City Council has unanimously approved the issuance of $1.5 billion in industrial revenue bonds for the planned Big River Steel mill.

The council approved the ordinance Monday night. Under the agreement, the city will take the title for the property then lease it back to Big River Steel for $1 a year.

According to the Blytheville Courier News, the agreement also calls for Big River Steel to pay 35 percent of regular millage taxes to the city annually for 20 years.

Local & Regional News
9:13 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Arkansas County Unveils Roadmap For Revitalization

Mississippi County officials have unveiled a community revitalization plan that sets goals for the next 10 years in the areas of economic development, education, housing, and health and wellness, among others.

The county's first Delta Bridge Project Strategic Plan comes after a year of discussions between public and private officials and organizations.

The Delta Bridge Project - funded by the Carl B. & Florence E. King Foundation and Southern Bancorp- is a community-led plan for revitalizing the county's social and economic areas.