News in brief

Construction jobs dip slightly in state

Arkansas was one of 15 states that shed construction jobs in January compared with January 2017, according to an analysis of U.S. Labor Department data released Monday by the Associated General Contractors of America.

Seasonally adjusted construction employment in the state fell to 51,000 in January from the 51,100 construction jobs in the same month a year ago.

Arkansas ranked 38th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in construction job growth in the 12 months ending in January.

State construction employment was slightly worse from December to January, falling 0.2 percent, a decline of 300 jobs.

The state with the biggest job loss in construction was North Dakota, which shed 4,600 jobs in January compared with January 2017. The contractor group said poor weather played a significant role in the 15.8 percent decline.

West Virginia gained the most jobs in January, 4,300, or 14.4 percent more than the same month a year ago.

-- Noel Oman

Dye-tainted catfish spur 7-state recall

Heartland Catfish Co., of Itta Bena, Miss., has recalled 69,016 pounds of catfish products, although no adverse reactions have been confirmed and the health risk has been deemed low by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The USDA said the recalled products were produced on Feb. 16 and were shipped in 15- and 30-pound boxes to retailers in Arkansas, Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Texas and Vermont.

The USDA classified the situation as having a "remote probability" of adverse health consequences.

The products, both fresh and frozen, were found to be tainted with a dye called leucomalachite green, used as an antifungal drug and to detect invisible blood stains in fish.

-- Stephen Steed

Arkansas Index falls as 11 issues decline

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, dropped 3.66 to 421.62 Monday.

Eleven stocks declined and six advanced.

P.A.M. Transportation fell 5.1 percent on light volume.

USA Truck fell 2.4 percent on average volume.

Acxiom rose 1.6 percent in heavy trading.

Uniti Group gained 1.4 percent on light trading.

Total volume for the index was 21.9 million shares.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

Business on 03/13/2018

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