Survey Research Program Publications
2020 Census Goes Digital
Montana Business Quarterly Volume 54, No. 2
The future is here ? the United States census is moving online to save money and make participation easier. Find out what?s in store, why the census is important and how Montana has changed since the last census in 2010.
2015 Missoula Area Transportation Survey: Final Report
The Bureau of Business and Economic Ressearch
The 2015 Missoula Area Transportation Survey provides the Missoula Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), citizens of the City of Missoula and Missoula County, and area policy makers with information about Missoula area residents? opinions regarding the area transportation system and area residents? use of the area transportation system. The particular tool used to obtain this information, a rigorously conducted, randomly sampled survey enables the MPO to obtain reliable estimates of the proportion of the area population that holds various opinions and who use various aspects of the transportation system.
Getting the News - Technology Changes Habits
John Baldridge and Bill Whitsitt
Montana Business Quarterly Volume 53, No. 3
Montanans highly value their news and are increasingly using mobile devices to access news over the Internet. Montanans in every age group - including 65 and older- are reading the latest news stories on phones, tablets and computers. In a world with a growing wealth of Internet-based information, some vital questions were recently addressed by first-of-its-kind, Montana-based survey research conducted by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research for the Greater Montana Foundation on important issues facing Montana.The findings of the survey are especially important since they come at a time of revolutionary changes in media technology, in addition to the growth in Internet use worldwide and in Montana.
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.
High Growth for High Tech - Fast-Growing, High-Pay Industry Cluster is Outpacing Other Sectors of Montana''s Economy
Patrick M. Barkey, John Baldridge, Christina Henderson, and Shannon Furniss
Montana Business Quarterly Volume 53, No. 2
Montana is quietly increasing its footprint in high-tech businesses, with growth projected to vastly exceed the average statewide economic growth. Unbeknownst to many, there are a number of high-tech companies scattered across Montana that are creating high paying jobs and challenging the older stereotypes about our economic base.
A Profile of Montana''s High-Tech Industries
Bureau of Business and Economic Research
This report on the high-tech industry in the state of Montana is the first of its kind. The Montana High Tech Business Alliance (HTBA), a newly formed, member-driven group of high-tech businesses and other organizations statewide, asked the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) to collect information and insights from its members so that a better assessment of its economic footprint and its prospects for continued growth could be made. This report presents the findings of that research.
Montana's high-tech industry will grow 8-10 times the projected statewide growth rate, with average wages at about $50,000 - twice the median earnings per Montana worker, according to a recent study by the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research.
The Economic Impact of Montana's Beer and Wine Distributors
Colin Sorenson, Patrick Barkey
This is a study of the economic contribution of the operations of the Montana Beer and Wine Distributors Association (MBWDA) to Montana?s economy. The beverage distributing industry is a major contributor to the economy, with impacts throughout the state and across industry sectors. To illustrate these contributions, MBWDA sought to determine precisely how distributor operations impact jobs, income, and sales of all Montana businesses and households. Using a state-of-the-art policy analysis model and data collected by MBWDA staff, the Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) at the University of Montana produced a detailed assessment of beer and wine distributors? impact on employment, income, output, and population in the Montana economy.
About 77,200 off-highway vehicles (OHVs) were registered for off-highway use in Montana during 2013. These vehicles are used both for pleasure and work. OHV-owning households own an average of two machines, and two family members usually participate in outings. Montana OHV users spend between 4.2 million and 5.9 million days recreating. This project was sponsored by Montana State Parks. Montana State Parks administers the OHV Program.
Montana Recreational Snowmobiles - Fuel-Use and Spending Patterns 2013
James T. Sylvester
The Bureau of Business and Economic Research's most recent surveys suggest that about 8 percent of the state's households include snowmobile recreationists. Nearly always, the whole family participates. With an average household size of about 2.5, perhaps as many as 100,000 Montanans participate in the sport each winter. Nonresident snowmobilers are important contributors to the Montana economy. Our estimates suggest that nonresident snowmobilers spend about $147 per activity day, including food, lodging, and often, snowmobile rental costs. Nonresidents accounted for about 97,000 activity days during the 2013-2014 snowmobile season, spending an aggregate of nearly $14.3 million in Montana. That spending supports about 200 winter jobs. This project was sponsored by Montana State Parks, which administers the Snowmobile Trails Program.
Economic Impact of Beer and Wine Distributors in Montana
Colin B. Sorenson and Patrick M. Barkey
Montana Business Quarterly Volume 52, No. 3
A BBER study found that Montana's beer and wine distributors are major contributors to the economy, with impacts throughout the state and across industry sectors.
Bicycle Tourism - Providing Economic Development Opportunities for Montana
Norma Polovitz Nickerson, Jake Jorgenson, Meredith Berry, Jane Kwenye, Daniel Kozel, and Jessica Schutz
Bicycle tourism is gaining momentum in Montana. In fact, it could be the new phenomenon in the travel industry. And it's definitely an economic boon. Multiday bicyclists take longer to get anywhere, thereby showering the communities they stop in with outside dollars.
Montana Manufacturers Survey - Operating in Montana has Many Advantages
Steven W. Hayes, Todd A. Morgan, Charles E. Keegan III, Colin B. Sorenson, Shannon Furniss
Montana Business Quarterly Volume 52, No. 2
Living a "Montana lifestyle" with access to recreational opportunities is one of the advantages of operating a business in Montana, according to respondents to BBER's annual manufacturers survey.
Bureau of Business and Economic Research's Annual report for fiscal 2012 - 2013 details the activities and finances for the year. Each of the BBER's programs are reviewed and various research projects and publications are highlighted.
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.
The Medicaid Expansion - Choices Ahead for Montana
Montana Business Quarterly Volume 50, No. 3
The dynamics behind the expansion of the Medicaid program and its impact on state budgets is a topic of considerable controversy and differences of opinion. There are many moving parts to Medicaid, and no study to date has incorporated all aspects of the Medicaid expansion.
More Native Montanans in East than West
James T. Sylvester
Montana Business Quarterly Volume 49, No. 4
When traveling across Montana, one often sees bumper stickers proclaiming the driver is a native Montanan. In some counties, most people at gatherings are native Montanans, but in other counties natives are a rare event.
The University of Montana - Growing Montana's Economy
Patrick M. Barkey
Montana Business Quarterly Volume 48, No. 2
The University of Montana is a major generator of economic wealth throughout the state of Montana. Its presence in the state economy makes the economic pie significantly bigger. Our analysis indicates that 9,700 jobs, more than $1 billion in after-tax income, and almost $200 million in state tax revenues are attributable to the presence of UM-Missoula in the Montana economy.
Montana's Labor Poll - More Workers than Anticipated Available to Fill Jobs
Montana Business Quarterly Volume 47, No. 3
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.
Four-Wheeling: Off-Highway Vehicle Use Growing
James T. Sylvester
Montana Business Quarterly Volume 47, No. 2
Four-wheeling through mud, snow, and woodsy trails continues to grow in popularity in Montana, with the state's off-highway vehicle (OHV) owners spending nearly $123 million during 2008 and paying more than $1.4 million in to the highway trust fund via gasoline taxes. But a recent survey of OHV recreationists found that the sport is thriving amidst worry from enthusiasts that growth will hamper access because of poor behavior from a few riders.
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.
Montana Off-Highway Vehicles 2008
James T. Sylvester
About 54,000 off-highway vehicles (OHVs) were registered in Montana during 2007. OHV owning households own an average of two machines and two family members usually participate in outings. Residents spend nearly all of their out-of-pocket trip costs for gasoline. We estimate that OHVers buy about 5.3 million gallons of gasoline per year. With a base tax of $0.27 per gallon, we estimate that OHVers in Montana generate over $1.4 million in revenue for the state highway trust fund.
Determinants of Trust for Public Lands: Fire and Fuels Management on the Bitterroot National Forest
Adam Lijeblad, William T. Borrie, and Alan E. Watson
Management of public lands occurs today with high levels of scrutiny and controversy. To succeed, managers seek the support, involvement, and endorsement of the public. This study examines trust as an indicator of managerial success and attempts to identify and measure the components that most influence it. A review of trust literature yielded 14 attributes that were hypothesized to contribute to trust, grouped into the three dimensions of Shared Norms and Values, Willingness to Endorse, and Perceived Efficacy. Operationalizing these attributes and dimensions, a telephone survey was administered to a sample of Montana, USA, residents living adjacent to the Bitterroot National Forest (n = 1,152). Each of the attributes was measured in the context of federal lands fire and fuel management. Structural equation modeling showed that all 14 attributes were found to be influential contributors to levels of trust. Results suggest that if managers are to maintain or increase levels of public trust, they need to consider each of trust's attributes as they make social, ecological, and economic resource decisions.
The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) needed information about citizens' perceptions regarding seat belt use, child safety seat use, and possible laws governing their use. This information is one important component that will be used to inform MDT's long-range planning process.
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.
Cutting the Cord - Households dropping land-lines for cell phones
Jenny Donohue and John Baldridge
Montana Business Quarterly Volume 46, No. 2
Nationwide, consumers are increasingly relying on wireless service as their primary phones, some even eliminating land-line service all together. Montana's land-line telephone service providers are losing active lines at an annual rate of 2 to 7 percent while Montana's largest wireless provider, Verizon, reported wireless phone usage up an average of 32 percent in 2006. However, the appeal for land-lines remains strong among 45-65 year olds and the social norms for cell phones have not fully been developed.
There is a large difference between the views of Missoula City residents and residents of Missoula County who live outside the city on the question of which action would improve Valley transportation more: expanding road capacity or improving bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Two-thirds (67.5%) of County residents said expanding road capacity would improve transportation more than improving bicycle and pedestrian facilities. However, city residents were evenly split on the issue. 50.3% said expanding road capacity would result in more improvement, while 49.7% said improving bicycle and pedestrian facilities would improve the system more. Missoula Valley residents displayed little change in 2008 when compared to 2000 in how they travelled to work. Missoula Valley residents transportation mode choice in 2008 for all purposes resembles that of the United States as a whole. However, cold weather during survey administration may have been a confounding factor when examining modes like walking, bicycling, and motorcycle riding.
Children's Health Insurance Coverage Rates Decline
Montana Business Quarterly Volume 45, No. 1
Health care spending the in the United Sates continues to have a major impact on the national economy. Even with the increase in spending, 18 percent of Americans under age 65 do not have any health insurance. The lack of federal level reform has lead many states to enact changes to control the level of spending. Montana has made several incremental changes to address the rate of uninsured in the state. However, despite Montana's strong economic growth, the prospect of improvement in the state's uninsured rate is not strong.
Montana Snowmobiling, Update 2006
James T. Sylvester
Montana Business Quarterly Volume 44, No. 4
The Bureau of Business and Economic Research?s most recent surveys suggest that about 8 percent of Montana households include snowmobile recreationists. With an average household size of 2.5, perhaps as many as 85,000 Montanans participate in the sport each winter. Nonresident snowmobilers are also important contributors to the Montana economy. Snowmobiling is a popular, revenue-generating winter activity in Montana.
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