JT and I talked about the issue of economic development in Grand Forks on the Jarrod Thomas Show today. Let me preface my remarks with a recognition that economic development is a difficult process, whether we are talking about managing it, reacting to it, hoping for it, or whatever. Development can inherently alter relationships in an economy, and in unpredictable ways. (Note I am not advocating management of economic developing because I think that often creates its own issues but we can discuss that later.)
I have not been able to post a great deal lately as it is a busy time on campus. Lots of reports to write and students looking to finalize things for graduation. However I expect to be back in the swing relatively soon. Here is a look at some of my recent work that I have not yet posted.
A standard question of late on the Jarrod Thomas Show focuses on the possible changing pecking order for cities in North Dakota. Essentially JT and I wonder aloud about the implications for Grand Forks from changes in population due to the change in economic structure in North Dakota. So this is a first stab at giving an answer to the possible change in the pecking order.
I will make some comparisons between communities later, but I looked at location quotients (LQ) for Grand Forks employment by sector compared to the national average. It may not come as a surprise to others, but it did surprise me, that the Grand Forks metropolitan statistical area does not have high LQs, typical of an exporting firm and part of the regional economic base, in many sectors.
I get many questions about local economic development these days. The specific geography is usually either Grand Forks, city, county or metropolitan area, or the counties in northeast North Dakota. These questions come on the radio, from newspaper reporters, and general conversations from the public. The basic form of the question is, “What can or should Grand Forks do to grow and develop?”