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

Many economists speculate that a new economic normal post-pandemic may include pandemic realities such as online shopping, working from home, and zoom meetings. It may also include long-standing changes to the tourism industry, particularly restaurants and hotels. Throughout the pandemic, bars and restaurants saw significant revenue losses. The tourism sector struggled and didn’t see the […]

Gas prices make upward trek

Gas prices were low for most of the pandemic but are now increasing due to increased demand. Last April, the national average price for gas fell below $2 for the first time in four years due to decreased demand. “Demand could really start rising and put upward pressure on prices,” Pakko said. Read the full […]

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

Arkansas’ unemployment rate dropped to 4.2% in December, the second-best improvement in the nation. Arkansas now has the ninth-lowest unemployment rate in the nation. Because Arkansas’ economy never shut down during the pandemic, the state did not experience as much of a downtown as other states have. Read the full article on the Northwest Arkansas […]

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

Dr. Michael Pakko was interviewed 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. Arkansas’ minimum wage is currently $11 an hour, much higher than the current federal minimum of $7.25. Michael Pakko said raising the federal minimum wage to 15 dollars would be a big change for Arkansas. The state’s median wage is $15.84, meaning […]

Factory sector starts off year strong in state

Arkansas’ manufacturing sector had a strong start in 2021, with four major manufacturing operations choosing to stay in Arkansas instead of moving elsewhere. The decision means that the state will see 700 new manufacturing jobs over the coming years. Read the full story on the Arkansas Democrat Gazette website here.

Latest Arkansas Revenue Report Shows Continued Above Forecast Growth

Arkansas’ economy continues to outperform its forecasts, according to the December revenue report from the Department of Finance and Administration. Arkansas’ net available general revenue is 7.3% above forecast, but $17.2 million or -3.1% below last year’s amount. Michael Pakko with the Arkansas Economic Development Institute says one area of the economy that continues to […]

Arkansas Unemployment: Metro vs. Rural Areas

All but two of Arkansas’ metro areas saw increases in unemployment for the month of August. In that same time, unemployment declined in the majority of the state’s counties. The “unemployment statistics seem to suggest that non-metro parts of the state showed relative improvement in August,” Dr. Michael Pakko reported on his blog, To read […]