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Tag Archives: Grand Forks

Metro Area Income in North Dakota

A recent topic of conversation on the radio has been a comparison of different metropolitan areas in the state of North Dakota. There are many metric used and combined to create these types of rankings and the value of any of them depends on the interests of the readers and the interests of the people in the communities. Sometimes they measure things that are not relevant to people. I prefer to deal with simpler discussions of more definitive measures like income or wages. We can always...

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Its People. Err. Not really

David Economist and economic historian with an interest in population analysis and demographic methods. Especially interested in natural disasters and disruptions to economic activity and changes in population dynamics, as well as fiscal and monetary policy with forecasting implications. Husband, father, Cubs fan. View all posts by David

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Grand Forks Sales Tax Collections

I thought I would update the sales tax forecast today. Teaching forecasting means a great deal of my time is spent looking at these types of models. There is an enormous amount of volatility in the Grand Forks sales tax collection data. I have started work on some related models to try and smooth out some of the volatility and maybe make the statistical properties of the series a bit more tractable. It really cannot help any type of planning exercise to see such enormous volatility in...

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Polar Vortex and Real Effects

So the polar vortex is gone (for now). And to answer the question for anyone not going through it, yes it really was that cold. It was brutal on even short jaunts to the mailbox. However I did go out to the store at one point and there I made some interesting observations. There are likely to be some real economic effects on the local economy from the extreme cold. Some are likely transitory though some may be less likely to be made up. Lots of businesses closed as a result of the cold....

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Employment Comparisons for Grand Forks, ND

So despite the continued need to focus on wages I branched out a bit this week. Wage level growth, or the lack of it, can explain a significant amount of the problems for Grand Forks in terms of labor market dynamics as well as a general radio caller sense that things are not moving in the right direction. It seems to me that we should also look at a broader picture at the same time and bring in more labor market variables and some variables completely outside the labor market. In this...

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Still more wages in ND

Of late my discussions on the Jarrod Thomas show centered on the issue of ranking the performance of Grand Forks. Ranking against whom is an open question that is still not even close to resolved. By default the early comparisons are against other places in the state, though for reasons we discussed on the radio and I mentioned in other posts, that does not feel like a perfect comparison. Still it seems like the statewide comparison is what we have for now. With that in mind I...

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Another Look at ND Wage data

So after the post yesterday and some of the discussion today I realized I could smooth out the picture a bit more. I kind of kicked myself for breaking one of the main bits of guidance I give to my forecasting students. So I take a look at the quarterly data from last time, but this time we look at the percentage change from a year ago levels, thereby controlling for seasonal factors. So the picture is a bit smoother than before and it has the virtue of comparison like quarters...

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Comparing ND City Economic Performance – Wages

So we do not really have resolution on the issue of the appropriate set of cities to include in a comparison of Grand Forks to peers. Last week on the radio we just did not arrive at a set of criteria. As a result I just started with comparisons within North Dakota. The general tone of the phone calls makes clear this matters to people, but we need to accept that it might be misguided to compare these cities. I started by looking at quarterly average weekly wage. There are other...

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Weekly Radio Summary

Evaluating local growth So there were a few topics discussed on air today with the main one being evaluation of local area economic growth and development (based on my post yesterday). I think the audience, JT, and I viewed the issues similarly. One of the principle issues remains there is no absolute set of standards for evaluation. Is 3% growth in wages good? Bad? What are at the proper comparisons? Modifications and additions by the callers varied. Some suggested parsing any...

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Evaluating City Economic Performance

So a recent caller, okay not so recent, since this goes back to last year. The last time I was on the radio there was a caller that wanted to know about grading Grand Forks’ economic performance. Now I am not shying away from that topic, but there are some important subtleties and considerations I had not fully developed at the start of the process. In any grading process there is the set of candidates for grades. We cannot give a grade without some agreed upon standards or...

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