• Oil Price & ND Mining Employment, Round 1

    by  • 2015/01/29 • 0 Comments

    The December numbers for employment came out and I thought we would look at the mining category (which includes logging) against the West Texas Intermediate crude price per barrel. What we see is the following: What does this tell us? I think it is an argument that oil employment is following a threshold process....

    Read more →

    Oil & Earnings in Grand Forks

    by  • 2015/01/27 • 0 Comments

    So employment data in North Dakota occupied most of my thoughts over the last week or so. I thought it time to take a quick look at earnings data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Quite often I hear people mention the concept of diversification with a local economy as if it represents a...

    Read more →

    Ludicrous Speed!

    by  • 2015/01/22 • 0 Comments

    I field a significant number of questions about the pace of economic activity in North Dakota, specifically the oil patch, from individuals not in the state or even the region. The answer I usually want to provide is summed up here:      

    Read more →

    Employment in Grand Forks city and county

    by  • 2015/01/22 • 0 Comments

    A little follow-up to the postings on employment, particularly for the one about Grand Forks (here). Talking with JT on the radio today, or maybe it was off-air, the difference between city and county came up. So let’s take a look at this: As se can see, these two graphs could almost rest one...

    Read more →

    Grand Forks and Oil: First Iterations

    by  • 2015/01/22 • 1 Comment

    What is the likely effect of oil price declines on the Grand Forks regional economy? This is a question I get quite often right now, and it is difficult to answer. While I investigate I thought we could look at the employment situation in Grand Forks county over the last several years. There are...

    Read more →

    Updated North Dakota Employment Numbers

    by  • 2015/01/22 • 0 Comments

    I thought I would update some of the employment numbers I posted before on the site. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released revised numbers for October and preliminary numbers for November. Based on these releases employment from October 2014 to November 2014 declined by 4,291. (Cue dramatic music.) Of course this is a great concern...

    Read more →

    Lutz Killian on shale oil, US oil & gasoline

    by  • 2015/01/15 • 1 Comment

    This is a really excellent piece by Lutz Killian that summarizes much of the current information about shale production as well as its implications. One of the issues recognized by Killian, at least implicitly, is that time and costs are not necessarily on the side of the promises of a revolution. One fantastic point...

    Read more →

    The basics of oil in the ND economy

    by  • 2015/01/10 • 0 Comments

    There is a big deal about understanding the impacts of oil price changes on the state economy given the legislative session underway in Bismarck. I am obviously all for such efforts. To that end I have a few graphs to offer up. Let’s consider the share of the private industry component of North Dakota...

    Read more →

    Apartment Building & Grand Forks

    by  • 2015/01/08 • 0 Comments

    Pretty much anytime I give a talk or go on to KNOX radio I get questions about the pace of apartment building in Grand Forks. People believe fundamentals do not justify the extent to which construction currently occurs. I generally agree and think there are a few reasons behind it. This article from the Wall...

    Read more →

    Thinking about Oil Price Declines and the ND Economy

    by  • 2015/01/08 • 0 Comments

    The importance of oil to recent economic performance in North Dakota is well-documented. As the biennial legislative session gets underway the price declines of the last several months are likely on everyone’s mind, and rightly so. This Wall Street Journal article details the difficult decisions facing oil companies in the relatively near future as far as capital spending,...

    Read more →

    Tis the Season

    by  • 2014/11/26 • 0 Comments

    Well, it is the season for many things, but right now it seems it is the season for complaints regarding Christmas shopping and the fact that many stores now open on Thanksgiving. Full disclosure, I do not go shopping at “Black Friday” sales, and I have no plans to shop on Thursday either, but that...

    Read more →

    The role for economic history

    by  • 2014/11/10 • 0 Comments

    Trained as an economic historian one would obviously think I would endorse a strong role for economic history. Well, I do. However, Simon Ville made a similar argument in a fantastic essay at the World Economic Forum Forum blog (link). I frequently tell people that economic history is context, the background to the economic processes...

    Read more →