"I think this shows a consistent message that Fort Smith is back on track," said Tim Allen, CEO and president of the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce.
"For the past two years, Fort Smith has been leading the state in the number of major jobs announcements, with ArcBest's being the largest, and this index shows the fruits of our labor in economic development."
mentioned the manufacturing base's maintaining strength by reinvesting in better technology, which creates a higher-skilled work force.
also expected the unemployment rate to stay steady, or possibly dip a bit, in the coming months.
The latest unemployment figures from the U.S. Bureau
of Labor Statistics show Fort Smith at 6.3 percent in August, slightly above the state average of 6.2 percent.