North Dakota

We are getting a new forecast this week for tax revenues in North Dakota. Or so we are told. I’ve written about the problems with these forecasts in the past, but there is a further issue here needing discussion. The simple fact of the matter is a lack of good practice in the overall approach, particularly with how forecast results are disseminated.

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Just a brief post about employment since the oil boom ended. As we are all aware we went right into a bust after the boom, which is not always the case, but that is a topic for another day. With that in mind I looked at the employment data since that time, essentially early 2015. Now keep in mind there were significant gains made, and I am not even close to claiming that we gave up all the gains, but we can identify the specific change event so it makes sense to look at variables after that event.

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Minimum wage returned to the Jarrod Thomas Show as a topic this week and it seemed appropriate to answer a few questions and respond to a few points in more detail than I could during the program. First, empirically, the outcomes from legislation increasing minimum wages is far from clear. Most people apply a Principles of Microeconomics level analysis and have supply and demand curves and a price floor that drives a wedge. As I say on the radio when this comes up, this is good, as far as it goes, and unfortunately that is not very far.

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