Hospitality tax collections and building permit values were the only bright spots in the regional economy for the July report of Numbers by the Wire.
Sales tax collections are down, suggesting a consumer in retreat. Home sales continue a downward trajectory and the jobless rate rose in the region and the state during June and July, respectively.
The number of unemployed in the Fort Smith metro area was an estimated 11,318 in June, up 7.8% from a revised 10,494 in May, and up 2.76% compared to June 2010. The number of employed in the metro area during June was 124,205, down 0.76% compared to the 125,163 employed in the area during May, and down 0.27% compared to June 2010.
Home sales have especially been slow in Sebastian County, with the number of homes sold down more than 17% during the first half of 2011.
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.
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 July 2011 edition (PDF) of Numbers by the Wire.