The ongoing economic story for the region is that sales tax collections in the counties and cities continue to show gains. The tax collections are a good sign of consumer sentiment. Hospitality tax collections in Fort Smith and Van Buren continue a positive trend.
Tax collections in the four counties measured were all up in September, with a 6.63% gain in Crawford County and collections up 2.46% in Sebastian County.
Area home sales and jobless numbers remain the trouble spot in the Fort Smith region.
The number of unemployed in the Fort Smith metro area was an estimated 10,467 in October, down from a revised 10,637 in September, and up compared the 10,321 unemployed in October 2010. The number of employed in the metro area during October was 121,676, above the 121,576 employed in the area during September, and down compared to the 123,700 during October 2010.
Numbers by the Wire — a component of The Compass Report — is a monthly report presented electronically as a two-page PDF on nine key sets of local, state and federal economic data. (For those unable to open a PDF, the report also is included below in jpeg images.)
Funded and managed by The City Wire and presented by Benefit Bank, The Compass Report is a quarterly regional economic report with data collection and analysis handled by Jeff Collins, a nationally known economist based in Springdale and co-founder of Streetsmart Data Services. Cox Communications and the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce also help sponsor the report.
Link here for the October 2011 edition (PDF) of Numbers by the Wire.