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NW economy is fit despite pandemic

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Things are looking good for the Northwest Arkansas economy, with population, wage and business growth 18 months into the covid-19 pandemic, though no quick fix is evident for the region’s housing problem.

The Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, reported Wednesday on the region’s economic performance, from employment and housing prices to the cost of airline tickets. The director of the center, Mervin Jebaraj, led a discussion about the report and highlighted how businesses are doing. He also addressed ongoing labor and home price concerns.

The Northwest Arkansas State of the Region Report was first published in 2011. Local economists like to compare the region to the economies of Austin, Texas, and Madison, Wis.

Recent data show notable population, wage and business growth from 2019 to 2020. The number of residents grew 2.4% to 548,634. The number of business establishments increased by 388. Average…

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