Clearing out more of the questions asked on the radio lately. The announcement of the closure of the Macy’s in the local mall set some callers into fits. Their issues and questions ranged from: Is this a harbinger of future closures in Grand Forks and/or Fargo; to: this mall has inadequate numbers of stores and the wrong kind. There were lots of other issues raised too, so let’s clear a few of these things up right now.
By now it is well documented, here and perhaps everywhere, that North Dakota experienced a significant economic transition over the last ten years. How permanent and sustainable a change is the current question. At the risk of editorializing too much I will just point out, that is almost always the question, and we seldom have an answer until well after the fact. This issue aside, I looked at the median income data by county in North Dakota. The data are the 5-year estimates from the Census Bureau. If you want all counties in the state that is the data series you need to employ, and since I want to look at counties across the state that is what I chose. I took each county median income measure and divided it by the median income for the state as a whole to see how the individual counties changed over time. The first year was 2009.
Continuing the look at economic differences across the state of North Dakota, today we turn to look at retail. One of the more aggravating things when you try to look at data at the county level are the redactions of information due to privacy concerns. I am not so much complaining about privacy rules are just venting that it makes the analysis less than complete because we do not know the situation for all counties. Here is what North Dakota looked like in 2015:
I gave a presentation today that included the following graphs. I looked at unemployment on a county-by-county basis in Minnesota and North Dakota. The concentrations of unemployment are pretty interesting.
Location matters. A lot. The more I read and study about the North Dakota economy the clearer that becomes. As I go through this I am looking more and more at the various locations for economic activity in the state, as the following map demonstrates.
It is Veteran’s Day in the US, and I thought we should look at the distribution of veterans across the country and North Dakota. To do this I grabbed some data from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. It includes both actual and projected veteran population data. First a look at the US as a whole.
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.
Along with the initial claims we can look at the continuing claims for unemployment insurance from the same source, and I think it better displays the unemployment situation in North Dakota than the initial claims.