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 across years so it is a really good measure of the growth in the weekly wage. We still see Williams and Ward counties pretty much leading the pack, at the top and the bottom. Grand Forks is decidedly in the middle throughout, coasting along, not usually set apart on the top or the bottom.
This still fits the narrative that Grand Forks did not send itself apart in this timeframe at all and the graphs from last night decidedly show the level for Grand Forks being lowest of the five counties.
A few callers asked about cost of living. We will find some, but I am pretty sure that will matter with Williams and Ward counties more than Cass and Burleigh. I do not think Grand Forks has the advantage of being a lower cost and lower pay area.
I think coming up next week will be some employment type data. If there are suggestions feel free to make a comment.