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Tag Archives: Grand Forks

ND Wages and Unemployment Benefits

There are lots of stories around unemployment benefits and the good or bad aspects of the policy enacted through the CARES act, specifically an additional $600 in benefits per week. Why that dollar value in particular? There was an intent to make it more of a locally based number, but that quickly became an intractable problem that would delay, arguably needlessly, necessary aid. As a result the legislation used more of a national average number. The upside is it should help maintain...

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What does a shutdown look like?

Maybe it is a good thing but I find many people struggling to understand what an economy under such tight restrictions looks like. The issue is both in the physical world and the data. Well the first one happened already with plenty of news footage showing closed shops, empty streets in metro areas with populations in the millions (cue the tumbleweed), and so on. We have yet to see this manifest itself in the data though. That ends tomorrow. I am fortunate, if that is an...

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Considering ND Labor Markets (A Prelude to Policy Wonks)

So I brought up a need to rethink labor markets in North Dakota last week (see post). I am not one to make recommendations and leave the work to others, so I gave this some thought in the last week. There is much data and plenty of anecdotal information available. Rather than jump into new analysis there is a need to step back and think about this from a broader perspective. I posted many times in the past about wages within the state (for example here) and labor force and unemployment...

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On my mind in 2020

For the inaugural post of the year I thought to take a step back and look forward. There are so many issues that could be confronted by Grand Forks, North Dakota, and the US in the coming year that I think it is important to highlight a few that keep my attention right now. Let’s start locally.  Grand Forks There are many things Grand Forks needs to confront right now. There is a curious demographic/labor dynamic occurring right now that threatens to impact businesses on both...

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Quick take on BEA County release for ND

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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ND Metro Area Wages

One of the more frequent topics on the radio is about wages in the different metro areas in North Dakota. One of the first aspects to tackle is what exactly is the history of wages with the three metro areas (Bismarck, Fargo, and Grand Forks). Well I am glad you asked. Here is the picture since 2001. Bismarck and Fargo are very close and trade lead position over time. Consistently the metro area of Grand Forks is the lowest annual pay level. The growth rate for all three metro...

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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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