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Tag Archives: North Dakota

What is Grand Forks? (Post #500!)

For at least the last 6 or 7 years and maybe as many as 10 years Jarrod Thomas and I asked some pretty important questions about Grand Forks and the immediate vicinity in North Dakota (1310 KNOX AM Grand Forks, Thursdays at 9am central). One of the most important questions remains unanswered (that seems to be the way it usually goes): what is Grand Forks? This is not just a simple matter of civic pride. Identity in this case is a starting point for policy. It is a recognition of...

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Metro Area Definition Changes and 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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Pandemic Policy Starting Points

The host and the guests on the Jarrod Thomas Show often ask me about the development of an actual policy regime to deal with pandemic so that the next time, and they seem to believe there will be a next time, it is not an ad hoc system of ideas. Maybe the goal should actually be not AS MUCH an ad hoc system but we can debate that point later. Part of the process to figure out a new policy going forward will be to understand where we were at the start. The COVID situation impacted...

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Herd Immunity in North Dakota

Let’s start with the fact that “herd immunity” is actually not terribly well defined. The definition is pretty clear, enough incidence of infection and vaccination that the spread of disease becomes unlikely. The issue for many is there is not necessarily a precise percentage we can attach here. That is actually fine, I am sure for different diseases the threshold for herd immunity would be different. However in the current situation with COVID-19 we are trying to vaccinate quickly to...

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Minimum Basic Income, the Legacy Fund, and North Dakota

I receive many call on the radio complaining about support payments, stimulus payments, unemployment insurance, and pretty much anything else that is similar. The overarching theme behind the complaints is such systems reduce the incentive to work. I also get many calls about what North Dakota should be doing with the Legacy Fund instead of letting it accrue. So I thought we could combine the two briefly. The different uses for the Legacy Fund are a political/policy matter and I...

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ND Metro Area Employment, 2010-2020

Metro area North Dakota accounts for a large share of the population and the economic activity in the state so it is interesting to pay attention to them at times. It is actually really important to look at these three metro areas compared to each other. That is where the most informative comparisons can be made. So what do we make of the employment situation in these metro areas over the last decade. A big takeaway here is the continued growth of employment in Fargo without much...

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North Dakota Employment over the Trump Presidency

With the Trump Presidency complete we can take an early look at the changes in employment occurring during that time in the state of North Dakota. There were many things going on in North Dakota over this time including a commodity cycle impacting both the oil and agriculture industries. The picture in the state is similar to the picture for the country as a whole, which is really interesting. North Dakota is clearly not as diversified as the entire country and so the fact that a...

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Grand Forks Sales Tax Data

I took a look sales tax data for Grand Forks this week. 2020 started off well for Grand Forks, well ahead of 2019. After that there were notable drops and changes to the point where it was well below levels from previous years. In terms of the rolling total for the year we see that 2020 continues to stay ahead of the pace for 2019. There are broader concerns about the sustainability of economic performance as well as the local economic impacts on small businesses of the surge in...

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ND COVID Update

I will get back to the moving average representations and other analysis soon but I wanted to try and think about this from a different visualization. In general I think it is accepted with this, and any disease for that matter, that you get exposure to the disease which shows up with positives, positives lead to hospitalizations, and hospitalizations lead (unfortunately) to deaths. So how are the county positives looking? I look at two different measures, the seven day total positivity...

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ND Labor Markets

One of the big stories nationally, and rightly so, focuses on the adjustments in labor markets, or really the lack of adjustments in labor markets. We still see national initial claims for unemployment in the hundreds of thousands, and while job creation is good, we have not got back all the jobs lost. In North Dakota it is a somewhat similar story. We are all aware of the record levels of initial claims in North Dakota this year but what we see here in the map above is the major...

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