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Rice mill to create jobs at port

A new multimillion-dollar rice mill at the Port of Pine Bluff will initially employ 25 and further expansions are planned, Southwind Milling Co. LLC announced Monday.

Unemployment declines in city, county

Pine Bluff’s unemployment rate fell from April to March but remained the second-highest among cities in the state, according to data released last week by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services.

PB March unemployment continues downward trend

The March unemployment rate for Pine Bluff declined for the second consecutive month in March but remained the second highest in the state, according to data released Tuesday by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services.

State unemployment steady at 7.2 percent, but labor force shrinks again

Arkansas' jobless rate was 7.2 percent in March, unchanged from February and just slightly below the 7.3 percent in March 2012. March marks 50 consecutive months that Arkansas' jobless rate has been at or above 7 percent. March also continued a trend in which the jobless rate improved but declines in the size of the workforce and number of employed point to ongoing weakness in Arkansas' economy.

Oaklawn, Southland on hot streak

Electronic games of skill (EGS) wagers at Oaklawn and Southland continued their hot streak in March as the two casino-style venues set record highs for the second consecutive month. The latest statistics released by the Arkansas Racing Commission showed Oaklawn topping $100 million in EGS wagers for the first time ever and Southland EGS wagers cleared $200 million for the first time during the month.

AEDC director addresses legislative reports on Big River Steel

Grant Tennille, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, says if Arkansas lawmakers don't move forward on the $1.1 billion Big River Steel superproject, it will kill the deal. He also was asked if turning the project down would diminish the ability of Arkansas to recruit similar projects in the future.

ConAgra Foods breaks ground on $100 million expansion in Russellville

ConAgra Foods broke ground on an expanded facility in Russellville. As part of the expansion, originally announced in September 2012, ConAgra Foods is planning to invest about $100 million in the new facility and expects to add more than 80 new jobs. The facility is expanding as a result of ConAgra Foods' acquisition of the Bertolli and P.F. Chang's Home Menu frozen meal business from Unilever. Through the Russellville expansion, production lines will be added to produce the two new items.

Business News Roundup — Tax battle brews at Capitol

State lawmakers are eyeing several areas for reforming the state's tax code. By some estimates, there are more than $2 billion in potential tax cuts already filed in the 45 bills aiming to reduce Arkansas taxes. Talk Business sources indicate that four areas are being seriously studied for major changes. They include income tax bracket reform, a capital gains tax cut, the grocery tax reduction and targeted business tax relief.

Simmons Bank announces promotion of David Garner

Simmons First National Corp. recently announced the promotion of David W. Garner, senior vice president and controller to senior vice president, controller and chief accounting officer, according to J. Thomas May, Chairman and CEO of Simmons First National Corporation.