Jan 31, 2023 - Real Estate

Northwest Arkansas' economy is resilient, but housing is needed

A photo of Bentonville, Arkansas' water tower, near a church bell tower.

Photo: Worth Sparkman/Axios

Some economists are bullish the U.S. can avoid a recession, citing continued wage and job growth, Talk Business & Politics reports.

Driving the news: The annual Arkansas Business Forecast Luncheon took place last week in Rogers, hosted by the University of Arkansas' Center for Business & Economic Research (CBER).

  • Three experts shared perspectives on global, national and regional economies.

The big picture: The strength of the job market will provide a "soft landing" for the U.S. and Northwest Arkansas, the experts agreed.

  • Walmart's chief economist, John List, said the current U.S. economy does not look like the last 10 recessions: The unemployment rate has dropped from 4% to 3.5% since early 2022, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports.
  • Underemployment, when a person who wants to work full time is only able to get a part-time job, is at a 20-year low, according to List.

Zoom in: NWA could see up to 5,000 new jobs this year, according to Mervin Jeberaj, director of the university's CBER.

  • Earlier this month, the Northwest Arkansas Council told Axios there were more than 9,600 job openings in the area.
  • The region’s housing market has cooled some since June, Jeberaj noted, but prices are still high due to the continued influx of people.

The bottom line: Not enough housing has been built to accommodate demand, he said.


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