Arkansas Economic Development Commission

Global Investments Support Arkansas Job Growth

May 23, 2017

Impact on Arkansas Jobs and Economy

Arkansas is among the top five states in foreign direct investment growth over the last five years. According to the Organization for International Investment, global investment has resulted in the employment of 46,400 workers across Arkansas – an increase of 30 percent since 2002. More than 60 percent of all FDI jobs in the state can be found in the manufacturing sector. That’s nearly 29,800 workers in Arkansas – almost double the national average. Of the nearly 450 global employers in Arkansas, the companies supporting the largest amount of jobs in the state are those from the United Kingdom, Japan and France. In the past five years, FDI employment in Arkansas has increased by 41.5 percent, while the state’s overall private-sector employment has increased 2.6 percent.       

Several global companies have recently announced plans to invest in manufacturing centers in Arkansas. Chinese clothing maker, Tianyuan Garment Factory, plans to invest $20 million and build a new Adidas manufacturing center in Little Rock. The company plans to create 400 new jobs in the state.
                                             
Shandong Ruyi Technology Group, China’s largest textile manufacturer, plans to invest $410 million in a textile mill in Forrest City. It will employ 800 people and use 200,000 tons of Arkansas-grown cotton annually – the state’s entire crop. 

Other major industrial announcements in the state’s Delta, include the Big River Steel plant in Osceola employing 450 people earning $75,000 a year, and the Hino Motors Manufacturing plant in Marion now employs 750.

Nationwide Impact

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis recently released preliminary statistics indicating that foreign direct investment in the United States totaled $396 billion in 2016, up 12 percent over 2015. Across the nation, U.S. workers at global companies earn 30 percent higher compensation than the economy-wide average, making $80,041 annually. Global investment now employs 6.4 million U.S. workers, and these workers are producing 26 percent of all U.S. exports. A large percentage of these FDI jobs, 37 percent, can be found in the manufacturing sector, where more than two million workers in America earn their living.

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