Back in the saddle after the Cubs World Series victory. I was actually able to go to a game (if needed I can post a story about that!). I thought we would come back to an issue that seems to get much play when I go on the radio. Unemployment in North Dakota is always a hot topic. Here is a county map of the different rates in the state.
The discussion surrounding the oil boom and broader performance in the North Dakota economy tends to focus on variables such as employment, unemployment, and labor force. Nothing wrong with that really; these three measures provide important insights into labor markets and, at least indirectly, broader economic performance. There is a different measure, available with a much higher frequency and likely more useful to the broader discussions of economic performance: unemployment insurance claims.
The 2015 ACS data came out from the Census Bureau in mid-September and gave us lots to chew on for the state of North Dakota. The four counties reported in the 1 year data are Burleigh, Cass, Grand Forks, and Ward. All three counties gained population from 2014. Cass increased the most with 4,507 more people, while Burleigh increased by 2,488, Ward by 1,891, and Grand Forks increased by 778.