Sorry for the lack of blogging but I was a speaker at the Minneapolis Fed Regional Economic Conditions Conference this Tuesday (link to presentations here). My slides are available from the Fed site as well. I thought I would highlight a few things that got the attention of the audience.
It was a busy week with a visit by the Minneapolis Federal Reserve President, Neel Kashkari. I will post about that later probably. With the other economic news coming out about the shelving of another vote on healthcare overhaul and the release of a tax plan, wages and income seem to be as relevant now as they were in the last few weeks.
In a recent post I discussed the level of annual salary in several categories for North Dakota and some of the implications. I also discussed the rank for the overall average salary. As many of my students would likely think, there is a need to make a correction to those numbers. There are two things that can vary for those annual salary numbers, the distribution of the workforce and the compensation by occupational category. Continue reading More on North Dakota Wages—Standardized Comparisons
As I consider the current state of the North Dakota economy as well as the economic outlook, I continue to think about labor market issues. Last week on the radio the discussion of wages resonated with the audience, and is obviously a key factor in relieving labor constraints. Realistically, internal demographic issues (low birth rates, outmigration, etc.) and environmental issues (North Dakota winters tend to be cold) could be resolved by appropriate levels for wages. The precise amount of compensating differential is not my target right now, I am just recognizing that such a circumstance could exist.
I argued before that North Dakota is labor-constrained. My thinking on this went through multiple iterations, and I continue to try and refine this. In particular the data to demonstrate this most clearly just may not exist at this time, but I continue to pursue it. Here is the state of wages from Q1 2017 by county in North Dakota.