Arkansas Economy

Community Development In Helena-West Helena
7:01 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Hope Rising In Helena-West Helena, Arkansas: Part One

Tommie Gause at Freedom Park in Helena-West Helena.
Malcolm Glover KUAR

The City of Helena-West Helena in Phillips County, Arkansas is no stranger to the hardships that have plagued many communities across the country during the economic downturn.

High unemployment, a struggling education system, political upheaval, a crumbling infrastructure, and even unresolved racial inequalities were once the hallmarks of this unified city in the impoverished Arkansas Delta. However, new research findings show some positive demographic trends and community development projects have some residents saying Helen-West Helena is finally making a comeback.

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Local & Regional News
11:53 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Top Political Leaders Debate Best Ways To Help The Delta

Former President Bill Clinton speaking to the Delta Grassroots Caucus Thursday night in Little Rock.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Many of the state’s top political leaders – and those aspiring for office – are taking part in a conference considering the best ways to revive the poverty-stricken Delta region.

The two-day Delta Grassroots Caucus started Thursday night with participants hearing from the Republican candidates for Arkansas governor, a freshman congressman and former President Bill Clinton.

“For the first time, literally in a generation, the larger demographic and other forces that are working on the world will help the Delta region,” Clinton said.

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Local & Regional News
3:47 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Arkansas Officials Revise Forecast, Surplus Figures

Arkansas finance officials are predicting the state will end the next fiscal year with a $13.8 million surplus. The Department of Finance and Administration on Wednesday released its revised forecast for the current and next fiscal year. 

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Local & Regional News
6:17 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Regional Economic Survey Index Dips For Arkansas And Other States

Mid-America Business Conditions Index

A monthly economic survey index for Arkansas and eight other Midwest and Plains states dropped last month but continues to suggest improving economic growth for the region. 

The Mid-America Business Conditions index hit 56.8 in April, compared with 58.2 in March. The confidence index rose to 59.9 last month from 58.2 in March.

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Local & Regional News
6:12 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Arkansas Tax Cut Package Includes Special Breaks For Some

Gov. Mike Beebe
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

All taxpayers in Arkansas will see their rates reduced through a $140 million package adopted during this year's session, but the new laws also include special breaks for varied interests.

Volunteer firefighters, manufacturers, farmers and armed service members are among the groups to see additional breaks through the dozen tax cut bills that legislators approved and Gov. Mike Beebe signed into law before wrapping up the session last week. 

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Senators Seek Security, Economic Reforms
5:15 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Boozman And Pryor Discuss Boston Bombings, Sales Tax On Internet Purchases

left to right: Mark Pryor and John Boozman

In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, U.S. Senator John Boozman of Arkansas says lawmakers must take a closer look at the nation’s visa system. He says his colleagues also have to make sure intelligence and security agencies are sharing important information that could stop future attacks.

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Economic Development
5:02 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Arkansas Legislature Approves Steel Mill Funding

Arkansas is set to provide a new steel company with $125 million in financing and tax breaks to build a mill in the northeast part of the state now that the Legislature has given final approval to the plan.

Unequal Pay In Arkansas
10:02 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Report: Gender Wage Gap Increases For Women Of Color In Arkansas

National Women’s Law Center

A report by the National Women’s Law Center, a research and advocacy group, shows inequalities in pay between male and female workers persist in Arkansas and every other state.

Fatima Goss Graves worked on the comprehensive analysis of the gender wage gap. She says findings also show larger pay disparities for women of color in Arkansas.

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New Jobs In Arkansas
3:59 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

500 New Jobs In Fort Smith, Arkansas Starting July


Fort Smith’s Regional Chamber of Commerce says hundreds of new jobs will be created in the city.

In July, a new Health Management Regional Service Center will employ 500 people and generate more than $21 million in gross annual compensation.

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4:53 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

HMA Center To Bring 500 Jobs To Fort Smith

Lead in text: 
Roby Brock of has this report on a Fort Smith call center creating more than 500 jobs in Arkansas.
Health Management Associates (HMA) will operate a regional service center in Fort Smith that will employ more than 500 with average annual salaries potentially exceeding $40,000. It's just what the doctor ordered for a regional economy that has seen better days.