News in brief

Posted: November 8, 2017 at 1:56 a.m.
Updated: November 8, 2017 at 1:56 a.m.

J.B. Hunt to open

2 more sales offices

J.B. Hunt Transport Services said Tuesday morning that it will open a sales office in Mobile, Ala., and another in Texarkana.

The Lowell-based company now has 44 sales offices in North America, according to a news release. These new offices bolster J.B. Hunt's efforts to develop new, more regional freight markets, the company said.

"Expanding our network of enterprise sales offices into the Mobile and Texarkana areas helps us better meet the needs of customers and attract top regional talent," senior vice president of transportation Nick Gowen said in a prepared statement.

J.B. Hunt has three Texas sales offices, in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, and another in Birmingham, Ala.

In its most recent financial disclosure, the third-quarter earnings report, J.B. Hunt said it has spent about 9 percent more year-over-year on salaries and wages, as well as about 8.6 percent more on operating supplies, and 14 percent more on communication and other utilities.

-- Dalton LaFerney

Immigrants' heft

in workforce tallied

Immigrants in Arkansas account for nearly 7 percent of the state's labor force, or roughly one in 15 workers, according to a Tuesday release from the American Immigration Council.

Immigrants represent almost 5 percent of the state's total population, contributing about $2.3 billion in consumer spending to the state's economy in 2014, as well as millions of dollars in federal, state and local tax revenue, the nonprofit advocacy group reported.

According to 2015 U.S. Census data, Arkansas' manufacturing industry relied on 27,586 immigrants for its workforce. More than 16 percent of the state's computer-science related jobs are held by immigrants, according to a Census analysis.

As of March 2017, there were about 5,600 applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in Arkansas, according to the nonprofit Migration Policy Institute. Another 3,000 in the state satisfied the educational requirements for the program, and up to 2,000 would be eligible as they grow older.

-- Nathan Owens

12 state stocks fall

as index sheds 5.43

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, dropped 5.43 to 375.27 Tuesday.

Twelve issues fell, five gained and one was unchanged.

"The major averages were mixed as investors await clarity on the Republicans' tax reform plans," said Bob Williams, senior vice president and managing director of Simmons First Investment Group 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 11/08/2017