BBER PUBLICATIONS SEARCH RESULTS
The results of these searches may return Montana Business Quarterly articles which are not always available online.
Publications in Category: Workforce, in date order.
The High Wage Jobs Puzzle
Median earnings for Montana workers over age 24 are $31,800 and places Montana 45th among all states. How can Montana increase wages and develop a robust knowledge economy of skilled workers?
Curse of the College Town
Look at any of the ?best places to live? lists and you will see many college towns. These small to mid-sized cities offer an appealing mix of amenities, but they also tend to offer something else ? a high cost of living and low wages, particularly for people with a college degree.
The Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) at the University of Montana was contracted to conduct a study on the utilization of local contractors by the Colville National Forest through the NEW Forest Vision 2020 Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP) project. The purpose of the study aimed to identify and measure the opportunities and benefits the NEW Forest Vision 2020/CFLRP program is bringing to communities in the region. The BBER used records of service contracts, timber sale contracts and agreements to characterize the number of local entities (businesses, nonprofits, agencies, etc.) involved in meeting the restoration objectives of the CFLRP through the NEW Forest Vision 2020.
Montanans love Montana. A recent Gallup poll asked whether or not respondents believed that their state was the best, or one of the best, states in which to live. 77 percent of Montanans chose their home state. For one group, though, Montana appears less desirable: the college-educated, and particularly the young and college-educated.
Technology & Innovation - Faster Growth for High-Tech
Christina Quick Henderson
In 2015, a University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) survey of Montana High Tech Business Alliance (MHTBA) members captured for the first time data measuring the size and growth potential of Montana?s high tech sector.
Uncertain Times for Montana's Dynamic Forest Industry
Kate C. Marcille, Steven W. Hayes and Todd A. Morgan
Montana''s forest industry is comprised of more than 80 active facilities that manufacture a variety of wood products. The industry receives its raw material - timber - from forests both inside and outside the state, relying on landowners, foresters, loggers and truck drivers to provide that timber year after year. Montana mills sell their forest products into local, national and international markets. Throughout this supply chain, from forest to mill to final consumer, there are numerous uncertainties and constant changes in both timber supply and wood products demand.
In the next 10 years, at least 130,000 working Montanans will retire. With an aging population, Montana''s labor force will only grow by 4,100 workers per year for the next 10 years (Wagner, 2015). Given current trends, there will simply not be enough workers to fill the projected annual job growth of 6,500 to continue to grow Montana''s economy. Montana must find strategies to increase labor force participation so businesses have the workers they need.
When Iris Owen found out she was pregnant with twins, she was thrilled- and then terrified. A certified public accountant at Anderson ZurMuehlen''s Missoula office, Owen didn''t know how she would be able to continue her career with not just one, but two infants. After the twins were born, Owen had a few health complications and took four months off to stay at home. "If I didn''t work for a company that was so supportive, I might not have gone back to work," she said. Now her girls are 18 months old, and the tax accountant has a flexible schedule, working more hours January through April (tax season) and three-quarters time during the rest of the year.
The State of Montana Manufacturing - 2015 Edition
Paul Polzin, Emeritus Director
Strong growth in Montana manufacturing employment occurred despite permanent closures in several manufacturing industries. Employment in the wood and paper products industry decreased by 550 workers between 2009Q2 and 2013Q3. Employment in all the other components of Montana manufacturing increased by about 1,600 workers, or 11.3 percent. In summary, since the start of the recovery Montana manufacturing employment has increased considerably faster than the national rate. This strong performance was in spite of permanent closures in the wood and paper products industries.
Montana Statewide Media Habits Survey 2015
BBER Survey Research Staff; Nicole McCleskey, Public Opinion Strategies
This is a PowerPoint presentation of the results of a survey, funded by The Greater Montana Foundation, of Montana Statewide Media Habits which collected data from a telephone survey of 526 adults in Montana in April-May 2015. Key Findings: Television remains a key source of news and information, local news from all sources is very closely followed and highly sought after, the rate of internet access in homes now matches that found nationwide, handheld devices are used by a significant portion of Montanans to access news.
Central Montana's Vibrant Manufacturing Center Reaches Global Markets
Shannon Furniss, Colin B. Sorenson, Steven W. Hayes and Todd A. Morgan
Situated in the geographic center of Montana in the midst of rolling hills, farms, and ranches is something a little unexpected: one of the most vibrant manufacturing communities in the state. With a population of about 6,500, Lewistown has a cluster of companies that design, engineer, and manufacture products for airports, oil companies, federal agencies, food distribution centers, sports arenas, hospitals, banks, schools, the military, and the aerospace industry, to name a few. Together, the group supports nearly 500 manufacturing jobs in the Lewistown area.
Results From the 2013-2014 Montana Manufacturers Survey
Steven W. Hayes, Todd A. Morgan, Charles E. Keegan III, Colin B. Sorenson
he Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana started an annual survey of Montana?s largest manufacturers in 1999. The surveys are conducted each year during November and December and query manufacturers on a variety of business issues pertaining to both the year just completed and the outlook for the coming year. The results shown here are from the fifteenth such survey, completed in December 2013. A total of over 220 firms were contacted for this year?s survey, including Montana?s largest manufacturing facilities (as measured by the number of people employed), as well as smaller firms representative of their sectors. Of the firms contacted, 76 percent responded to the survey.
The Four Corners Timber Harvest and Forest Products Industry, 2012 (Poster)
Colin B. Sorenson, Todd A. Morgan CF, Eric A. Simmons, Micah G. Scudder, Erik C. Berg CF, Chelsea P. McIver
This poster presents the findings of the Bureau''s Survey of Four Corners state''s forest products mill operations for 2012. It graphically presents the location/types of mills, timber harvest by species, ownership, timber processing capacity & use, and industry employment. It also summarizes the results and highlights of the survey.
The objective of this poster is to describe the value and types of restoration work occurring in the Southwestern Crown of the Continent, along with who is capturing that work, and provide a baseline against which future investments made through the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program could be compared.
The Economic Status of Women in Montana - How Far Have We Come Since Montana Elected the First Congresswoman?
Celia C. Winkler and Kathy J. Kuipers
While women now participate equally in the wage economy and earn a majority of all bachelor''s degrees, this has not led to financial equality. Women do not share equally in the economic well-being of the state.
Montana Solutions for Montana Jobs
Senator Max Baucus
The 2013 Montana Economic Development Summit in Butte was one of the biggest and the best. Together, with some of the most influential business leaders of our time and ambassadors from some of Montana''s most important trading partners in the world, we helped sow the seeds for unlimited potential.
Who Works from Home in Montana
James T. Sylvester
The number of home-based workers usually is outside the normal labor information stream, but the American Community Survey asks people how they get to work. This question provides information on commute time and place of work and determines whether people are home-based workers.
North Dakota is experiencing an oil boom that has increased total U.S. oil production as well as sheltered the state from the economic impacts of the Great Recession. Montana doesn''t have as much oil development activity as North Dakota, but is experiencing impacts of the development in Western North Dakota.
The State of Montana Manufacturing - 2013 Edition
Paul Polzin, Emeritus Director
The U.S. economy is now in the fourth year of an exceedingly slow recovery that began from a cyclic trough in the second quarter of 2009. The recovery is under way in manufacturing. The comeback of durable goods production accounted for most of the growth. This report was prepared by Montana State University Montana Manufacturing Extension Center and the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research and examines trends in Montana manufacturing.
Manufacturing Outlook - Continued Improvement in Operating Conditions
Steven W. Hayes, Charles E. Keegan III, Todd A. Morgan, Colin B. Sorenson
Although the Great Recession officially ended in 2009, manufacturing in Montana continued declining through 2010, falling to fewer than 20,000 workers after the pre-recession level of nearly 24,000. However, both 2011 and 2012 revealed growth for Montana manufacturers, with annual sales increasing to more than $13 billion and employment topping 21,000 workers for the first time since the recession's end.
Results from the 2012-2013 Montana Manufacturers Survey
Steven W. Hayes, Charles E. Keegan III, Todd A. Morgan, Colin B. Sorenson
Although the Great Recession officially ended in 2009, manufacturing in Montana continued declining through 2010, falling to under 20,000 workers after the pre-recession level of nearly 24,000. However, both 2011 and 2012 revealed growth for Montana manufacturers, with annual sales increasing to more than $13 billion and employment topping 21,000 workers for the first time since the recession''s end. This article includes the results from the annual survey of Montana''s largest manufacturers, which queries manufacturers on a variety of business issues pertaining to both the year just completed and the outlook for the coming year.
Ravalli County - Slowly Coming Out of Recession
James T. Sylvester
Ravalli County's economy appears to be coming out of the Great Recession, albeit slowly. The real estate market has stabilized with the number of residential real estate sales in 2012 increasing over 2011 levels. Prices are about the same, but days on market increased slightly over 2011 levels.
Vocational Rehabilitation - Investing in Disabled Population Provides Returns
Gregg Davis, James T. Sylvester
Spending for working-age populations with disabilities is increasing faster than gross domestic product. The return on investment for tax dollars spent on the Montana Vocational Rehabilitation Program for those successfully rehabilitated is positive.
The objective of this study is to determine the spatial distribution of businesses engaged in restoration activities in the SW Crown and measure the success of local contractors in accessing these job opportunities while comparing these trends to the surrounding region, previous years, and non-Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP) projects.
Graduation Counts - Connection Between Education and the Economy
Daphne Herling, Thale Dillon
The 2011 national high school graduation rate was 75 percent. The remaining 25 percent, about 1.2 million high school seniors across the country, did not attain a high school diploma.
A Study of the Post Vocational Rehabilitation Earnings Attributable to the Montana Vocational Rehabilitation Program
Gregg Davis and Jim Sylvester
There are more than 36 million people with a disability in the United States, accounting for almost 12 percent of the total civilian non-institutionalized population. In Montana, the proportion with a disability is greater. Thirteen percent (125,302) of the civilian non-institutionalized population in Montana has a disability. Working age adults with a disability, those 18-64 years of age, comprise over half of the disabled population in Montana and nearly 11 percent of all working adults in this age group. With continued increases in the cost of health care and an increase in the number of working-age Montanans with disabilities as a result of the aging baby boom generation, the federal and state share of spending to support this population represents a large and faster growing share of all federal and state expenditures. The aging of the baby boom generation is expected to contribute to growth in Social Security Disability Insurance awards for at least another decade. In Montana, federal government payments for Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income alone totaled more than $469 million in 2010, up 5 percent from 2009, and almost 10 percent from 2008.
Economic Recovery - What's Ahead for Men and Women Workers?
Wendy A. Stock
The recession's impact on men and women differed nationally and even generated the coining of a new term, mancession, to describe the more negative impacts of the recession on males. Higher rates of job loss for males had the related impact of pushing the percentage of female workers in the national economy upward, to the point where data indicate that women now constitute a near majority of the nation's workforce. The recession's impacts on men and women in Montana have matched some, but not all, of the national trends.
With Montana's median wage rate over $2 an hour lower than the national median wage rate, it should not be surprising that nearly half of the state's workforce is willing to switch jobs in order to earn more money. According to BBER's Montana Labor Market Analysis Survey, the labor pool available to staff business expansions or to replace turnover is significantly larger than well-known statistics like the unemployment rate suggest.
Labor Availability in North Central Montana 2009
Patrick M. Barkey
This report details the findings of a comprehensive evaluation of labor force availability in the 11 counties of north central Montana. During the summer and fall of 2008, researchers at The University of Montana''s Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) surveyed a random sample of adults in Blaine, Cascade, Chouteau, Glacier, Hill, Judith Basin, Liberty, Phillips, Pondera, Teton, and Toole counties to assess the labor force status, availability, training preferences and other characteristics. The purpose of the project was to construct and present a more comprehensive assessment of labor force status and availability than can be obtained from the employment and unemployment statistics gathered regularly by state and federal statistical agencies. The emphasis was on those in the adult labor force who are receptive to new job opportunities. This includes both the under- and the unemployed.
The Available Labor Supply in Montana's Labor Market 2009
Patrick M. Barkey, John Baldridge, and James T. Sylvester
Our basic finding is that there are a substantial number of individuals currently working who report themselves as willing and available for new job opportunities. Statewide, there were almost 261,000 adults who could be classified as available for new job opportunities.
The Available Labor Supply in the Flathead County Labor Market 2008
Patrick M. Barkey
Our basic finding is that the number of workers currently residing in Flathead County who are potentially available for new employment opportunities is substantially larger than official unemployment statistics would suggest. We estimate that as of summer/fall 2008, there were approximately 19,500 individuals, aged 18 or older, who identified themselves as candidates for new job openings. By contrast, the Montana Department of Labor and Industry reports that for September 2008, the most current month available at press time, the number of unemployed individuals in Flathead County was slightly less than 2,200. The wide discrepancy between these two estimates stems from the fact that the available labor pool contains substantial numbers of individuals who are currently employed, but willing to change jobs in response to new opportunities.
Fiscal Impacts of an Aging Population in Montana
George W. Haynes, Douglas J. Young and Myles Watts
Aging of the population may put significant pressure on federal, state, and local government budgets in coming decades. On the revenue side, income taxes may fall as Baby Boomers retire. On the expenditure side, state and local governments pay for a variety of services for the elderly, including some health care and nursing homes.
2006 Employer Survey on Health Insurance in Montana
Montana has one of the highest rates (19 percent) of uninsured residents in the nation. Most people get health insurance through their employers, yet three out of four Montanans without insurance coverage were, in fact, employed. The 2006 Montana Employer Survey was a random telephone survey conducted in an attempt to fill in major gaps in the state?s knowledge of its uninsured population. This article reports the survey findings.
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