News in brief

Posted: November 2, 2017 at 2 a.m.
Updated: November 2, 2017 at 2 a.m.

In state, NW's 2.6%

lowest jobless rate

Northwest Arkansas' unemployment rate was 2.6 percent in September, the lowest in the state, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Wednesday.

The Northwest Arkansas rate was tied for 29th lowest among the 345 metropolitan areas in the country.

The September rate compares with 2.9 percent in the area in September last year.

Arkansas's unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in September. The national rate was 4.2 percent.

Other September unemployment rates in Arkansas compared with September last year were Jonesboro, 2.9 percent, down from 3.3 percent; Little Rock, 3.1 percent, down from 3.5 percent; Hot Springs, 3.8 percent, down from 4.3 percent; Fort Smith, 4.0 percent, down from 4.6 percent; Texarkana, 4.2 percent, down from 4.8 percent; and Pine Bluff, 4.5 percent, down from 5.3 percent.

-- David Smith

Fed Up author set

as chamber speaker

Danielle DiMartino Booth, the author of Fed Up: An Insider's Take on Why the Federal Reserve is Bad for America, will be the keynote speaker at the 89th annual meeting of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson also will deliver remarks at the meeting, which will be held at noon Wednesday at the Statehouse Convention Center in downtown Little Rock.

Booth is a former adviser to the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, founder of the economic consulting firm Money Strong LLC and a columnist for Bloomberg View.

Check-in will begin at 11:30 a.m. The cost is $75 per person. Information and registration is available from Deb Mathis at (501) 210-4212 or

-- Noel Oman

Arkansas Index adds

0.75, ends at 376.55

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, rose 0.75 to 376.55 Wednesday.

"Energy was the best performing sector in the S&P 500 Index as equities opened higher but gave back some of their gains on an improved economic outlook from the Federal Reserve along with prospects for a delay in the tax reform bill," said Leon Lants, managing director at Stephens Inc. in Little Rock.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

Business on 11/02/2017