Regional, national and international experts discussed trends and other valuable information to help guide decision making over the next year at the 20th annual Business Forecast Luncheon.
"We have almost 1,000 attendees," says Kathy Deck, the Director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Arkansas' Walton College of Business. "We get governmental leaders, mayors, folks from our senators' and congressmen's offices."
Deck says Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley economies saw much better years in 2013 than in 2012.
"Northwest Arkansas in particular gained about 9,700 jobs from November to November," she says. "That's really on fire."
In addition, the labor force recovery is outpacing the rest of Arkansas and the country.
"At the state level we're actually seeing the labor force shrink a bit," Deck says. "That doesn't necessarily mean that people are leaving, it just means that they're not necessarily employed or looking for work... At the national level we're seeing the labor force be a little bit flat."