Recreational Projects Underway in NWA

The past few months have posed excitement for people in Northwest Arkansas, as a number of new recreational projects have been announced. One of these projects is an expansion to the already popular Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. According to the museum’s website, “the expansion will allow the museum to showcase its growing collection […]

Arkansas population expected to decline as birth rate falls, hits record low in U.S.

In 2020, the birth rate in the U.S. hit a record low with 3.6 million babies born — the lowest number since 1979. The birth rate in Arkansas tends to sit about five points higher than the national average. But the state is following the same downward trajectory as the rest of the country. From 2017-2019, demographers found Arkansas’ […]

State’s jobless rate dips to 4.4% as economy rides out pandemic

The measure of Arkansas’ unemployed continues to improve as the state’s joblessness rate dropped again in March, inching closer to pre-pandemic levels. The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services announced Friday that the state unemployment rate dipped to 4.4%, a slight improvement over the 4.5% recorded in February. The national unemployment rate, which also has been […]

Jobless level in state edges down to 4.5%

Arkansas’ jobless rate continued to improve in February, dipping to 4.5% for the 10th-consecutive monthly decline since spiking to double digits in April. The state unemployment rate is inching closer to the 3.8% registered in February 2020 before the pandemic ravaged the economy. The Department of Workforce Services said Friday that unemployment fell from 4.6% […]

Pandemic economics: Changed consumer, workplace patterns will be part of post-pandemic world

A new economic normal post-pandemic may include pandemic realities such as online shopping, working from home and zoom meetings. It also will include a struggle for the tourism industry – restaurants and hotels – to recover in a world with deep changes in consumer behavior. That is the collective insight of three economists who spoke […]

Gas prices make upward trek

Demand increasing after pandemic-fueled reduction in 2020 Gasoline prices, low through most of 2020, are rising in Arkansas and across the country as global crude oil prices rise, oil refineries recover from winter weather and Americans begin receiving covid-19 vaccinations. Demand for gas fell early last year when the coronavirus hit. Last April, the national […]

State jobless rate hit 4.2% last month; Arkansas’ figure 9th-lowest in U.S.

Arkansas’ unemployment rate dropped more than 2 percentage points in December to 4.2%, the second-best improvement in the nation, bringing the state much closer to pre-pandemic jobless figures. The December 2019 state jobless rate was 3.5%. The improvement also gives Arkansas the nation’s ninth-lowest unemployment rate, according to a national organization that monitors jobless figures. Statewide […]

How President Biden’s new relief plan could help Arkansas’s economy

Susanne speaks with Michael Pakko, a Chief economist and state economic forecaster at U.A. Little Rock, about how President Biden’s 2 trillion dollar relief plan and new stimulus checks could help Arkansas’s economy.

What impact could a $15 minimum wage have on Arkansas workers?

The Biden Administration is looking at proposing a $15 federal minimum wage increase which would mean higher incomes for thousands of Arkansans. Arkansas’ minimum wage is currently 11 dollars an hour. Much higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25, which has not changed since 2009. “Arkansas, we’ve already got a head start,” Michael Pakko […]

Factory sector starts off year strong in state

Arkansas’ efforts to build the manufacturing sector jumped off to a strong start this year, beginning 2021 the way it ended last year: demonstrating the ability to keep manufacturing jobs at home. In a 90-day period, from Oct. 7 through Jan.4, four major manufacturing operations announced they would stay in Arkansas and forgo options to […]