NEWS AND EVENTS

Most recent News and Events on Home Page

New Kids Count Databook 2016 & New Website

New, 2016 Montana KIDS COUNT Data Book released and re-designed website launched.

Four Corners Timber Harvest & Forest Products Industry, 2012

This report details timber harvest and describes the composition and operations of the primary forest products industry in the "Four Corners" States (AZ, CO, NM and UT) during the calendar year 2012.

New - Montana Economic Report

An analysis and assessment of Montana''s Economic Performance compiled by BBER. Includes: The Year in Review; US Economic Outlook; In Depth-The Montana Economy and Assessing Montana''s Key Industries

2016 Montana High Tech Business Sector Study

The High Tech business sector, in Montana, continues to grow in size, employees and wages according to this study commissioned by the Montana High Tech Business Alliance.

BBER is hiring an Economist and Director of Forecasting

The Bureau of Business & Economic Research (BBER) invites applicants for the position of Economist and Director of Forecasting. The position directs the BBER?s forecasting efforts and is also responsible for designing, maintaining and extending its databases to support all of the BBER?s research activities. The incumbent is expected to carry out all of the activities related to the development and operations of economic, demographic and other statistical forecasting models; including but not limited to formulating recommendations and plans; providing advice/consultation on economic, statistical, and database relationships; and collaborating on plan data collection methods for specific projects. The incumbent is expected to conduct peer-reviewed research and disseminate research findings to the public in non-technical language, including presentations at the Montana Economic Outlook Seminars.

BBER is hiring a Publications Director

The Publications Director (Editor II) designs and manages the electronic and print publications of a high-profile center conducting applied business and economic research. This position is responsible for managing and producing the Montana Business Quarterly, the state?s premier business magazine. This position uses judgement and discretion to select topics and provide advice to authors on how to structure and refine their work. This position is expected to be have all of the necessary skills to design, lay out and produce high quality publications that will retain and enhance the Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) reputation for high quality print and electronic documents. This position must have extensive knowledge of graphic design, computer graphics programs, and must be thoroughly familiar with web publishing.

2015 Missoula Area Transportation Study: Final Report

The 2015 Missoula Area Transportation Survey provides key information that will be helpful in the development of the 2016 - 2045 Missoula Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP).

UM Study Finds Growth in California Forest Industry

Mills in California have started putting more of their idle capacity back to work as demand for wood products has strengthened in response to rising U.S. home starts.

2015 Montana Media Study - What issues are important and where do Montanans look for that information.

A 2015 survey of issues most important to Montanans and where they go to find information about those issues.

Montana Manufacturing Jobs Growing Faster than National Average

2015 Montana Manufacturing Study

Montana Improves Ranking for Child Well-Being

2015 Kids Count Data Book

BBER Study Identifies Costs of Forest Service Project Litigation

A study completed by Forest Industry Research Program Director, Todd Morgan identifies costs associated with US Forest Service projects under litigation.

BBER Study of Montana''s eGoverment Services

UM''s Dr. Ron Premuroso and Dr. Patrick Barkey report on a study of Montana''s eGovernment services cost savings and satisfaction.

UM Researchers Predict Commerce Park Will Spur Economic Gain for Billings, State

According to a recently completed study by the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research, the construction, operation and success of the Trailhead Commerce Park in Lockwood, Montana, will result in ?significant gains for the Billings and state economies.?

Kids Count Report "Measuring Access to Opportunity" Shows Improvement for Montana Children

Using the Supplemental Poverty Measure to estimate child poverty has determined that 39,000 Montana children have been lifted out of poverty since 2011. A KIDS COUNT report entitled ?Measuring Access to Opportunity in the United States? shows that the federal official poverty measure is outdated and fails to capture the effects of safety net programs and tax policies that help lift families out of poverty.

High-Tech jobs in Montana outpace other sectors in the state.

BBER Study Finds High Impact From Montana?s High-Tech Business. 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. BBER Director Patrick Barkey conducted the study, which was commissioned by the Montana High Tech Business Alliance. It found that high-tech jobs in Montana outpace other sectors and hold high impact potential for the future of the state. ?The alliance asked us 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,? Barkey said. ?The result showed high-tech employers on average to be younger, higher paying and more growth-focused than the economy as a whole and that Montana quality-of-life plays an important role in their competitiveness.?

BBER is hiring a Senior Economist and Director of Forecasting

The Bureau of Business & Economic Research (BBER) invites applicants for the position of Senior Economist and Director of Forecasting. The position directs the BBER?s forecasting efforts and is also responsible for designing, maintaining and extending its databases to support all of the BBER?s research activities. The incumbent is expected to carry out all of the activities related to the development and operations of economic, demographic and other statistical forecasting models; including but not limited to formulating recommendations and plans; providing advice/consultation on economic, statistical, and database relationships; and collaborating on plan data collection methods for specific projects. The incumbent is expected to conduct peer-reviewed research and disseminate research findings to the public in nontechnical language, including presentations at the Montana Economic Outlook Seminars.

High-Tech Cowboys: Technology Helps Make Ranching More Profitable

Running a ranch with vast landscapes and numerous livestock can be complicated, but UM student Walker Milhoan has a technology that he thinks will make ranching more sustainable and profitable. And his business venture is promising enough that he was selected as a finalist at Blackstone LaunchPad?s recent Demo Day in New York City.

Bryce Ward addresses Montana Healthcare Forum on Medicare Expansion

Bryce Ward, director of health care research at the Univeristy of Montana''s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, discusses the economics of Medicaid expansion during the Montana Healthcare Forum on Monday in Helena.

Former UM BBER director receives national award for leadership in regional economics

Former longtime director of the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research, Paul Polzin, received the highest honor granted by the Association for University Business and Economic Research, the premier professional organization dedicated to improving research in business, economics and public policy. Read more here.

Falling gas prices could lead to less work in the Bakken if companies stop new drilling

Gas prices have been falling. Lower prices at the pump could slow economic activity in the Bakken. BBER Director Patrick Barkey weighs in on possible impacts.

Snowmobiling generates more than $110 million in economic activity in Montana each year

Snowmobilers in Montana generate more than $110 million in economic activity each year, including $1.2 million in revenue for the state highway trust fund generated through gasoline taxes. Nonresident snowmobilers alone spend an estimated $14.3 million in Montana each year.

Montana timber industry, forest management seen in light of 40 years of BBER data

BBER has been researching and recording data on the timber and wood products industries in Montana and other western states for more than 40 years. This article explores forest management and the timber industry in light of historic trends in the west.

Bicycle tourism has growing economic impact and cyclists stay longer, spend more

One of the primary takeaways of the study was that bicycle tourists spend an average of about $75 per person per day and tend to stay eight nights or longer in the state. The study compared that to last year?s nonresident tourists from July through September, who spent about $69 per person, and averaged six days in Montana.

Report: Montana craft beer industry growing rapidly including sales, jobs

Between 2010 and 2013, craft beer production in Montana increased by 49 percent, sales increased by 55 percent and employment more than doubled from 231 to 486 jobs, according to Colin Sorenson, a BBER economist who conducted the study.

New service, RentTrack, allows users to connect rental payment history to credit scores

Bryce Ward, BBER associate director, comments on credit scores and how the new service, RentTrack, extends options for people who want to improve their credit history.

Hospital options are expanding for Missoula women who prefer natural birth

Providence St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula will begin offering obstetrical care as early as 2015. BBER Associate Director Bryce Ward shares insights from an economic perspective.

Study examines low seat belt usage in Montana and numbers of highway fatalities

The Montana Kids Count paper "Seat Belts: Saving Lives on Montana Roads," explores traffic fatalities associated with not being buckled while riding in a car, with particular focus on keeping children safe.

Presentations for the 2014 Midyear Economic Update Series are available here

BBER economists Patrick Barkey and Paul Polzin presented an update on the economy in seven Montana communities in late July and early August on the topic "Manufacturing a Greater Montana." Sponsored by the Montana Chamber of Commerce. View presentations here.

Manufacturing could be the bright spot in the forecast for near-term economic growth

Montana wood products industry sees increased wages, jobs, production

BBER economist Paul Polzin testifies before Congress on energy boom

Montana beer and wine distributors support more than 2,000 jobs averaging $54,000

Montana fared worse this year in child well-being and remains last in children's health rankings

Montana is one of seven states that is getting younger - partially due to the oil boom

The Economic Impact of the Montana Board of Research and Commercialization Technology

Montana's economy has more jobs, higher household incomes, and larger tax revenues because of the operations of the Montana Board of Research and Commercialization Technology, BBER study finds.

Impact Study: Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts has Significant Impact on Montana

BBER analysed the economic impact of the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts on Montana. Read the press release.

Report: Eight Years to Get Montana Kids on Track

BBER Wins National Website Award

Bureau Participates in Manufacturing Day

Todd Morgan, Director Forest Industry Research Program of the Bureau will join others in Kalispell October 8, 2013 to recognize national Manufacturing Day.

Health Insurance Exchange Provides Opportunities for Montana's Uninsured

Interim Health Care Director Paul Polzin expects that more than 350,000 Montanans may change their health insurance as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

View Presentations: Midyear Economic Update Series 2013

BBER economists Patrick Barkey and Paul Polzin presented an update on the economy in seven Montana communities in early August on the topic "Montana's Federal Economic Footprint: The Local Impact of Changes in Washington". Sponsored by the Montana Chamber. View presentations here.

Craft Brewing is a Healthy and Growing Sector of Montana's Economy

Craft brewing is growing in Montana. From 2010 to 2011, production increased by 18 percent, employment was up by 39 percent, and sales rose by 20 percent. See the latest Montana Business Quarterly for more...

A Look at the Montana Recovery: What's on Track and What's Not

The economic downturn has been severe and left no county in Montana untouched. Get the latest economic update in the Autumn issue of the Montana Business Quarterly

BBER Study Projects High Impact of Spring Creek Mine Expansion on Montana Economy

A new BBER study summarizes the likely impacts on the Montana economy of a significant expansion in coal production at the Spring Creek mine operated by Cloud Peak Energy near Decker, MT.

Latest Montana Business Quarterly Reports that Many Montana Families are Working Poor

In Montana 34 percent of working families are low-income or have household incomes below the federal poverty threshold of $18,530 for a three-person household, according to the latest issue of the Montana Business Quarterly.

BBER Study Projects High Impact of Otter Creek on Montana Economy Due to Rising Demand for Coal in Asia

Economic impact study by BBER economists Patrick Barkey and Paul Polzin indicates construction of the Otter Creek coal development would lead to significant boosts in Montana jobs, household income, and tax revenues ans Asian demand for the resource expands.

Midyear Economic Update Presentations Available

BBER economists Patrick Barkey and Paul Polzin presented an update on the economy in seven Montana communities in early August on the topic "Five Questions Montanans Should Ask About the Energy Boom". These presentations are now online. Sponsored by the Montana Chamber.

BBER Study: Craft Brewing Has Growing Impact on MT Economy

Montana's 33 craft brewers represent a growing sector of manufacturing activity in the state, according to a new survey and economic impact study by researchers Colin Sorenson and Todd Morgan of The University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research. Read the press release.

Spring 2012 Montana Business Quarterly Features Economic Outlook with Montana's Leading Experts

This Q & A with Bureau economists and industry experts throughout the state discusses the latest economic trends and forecasts, as well as the outlook from Montana's important sectors.

Announcing the Release of the 2011 MT KIDS COUNT Data Book

The KIDS COUNT Data Book is a comprehensive resource of data regarding Montana?s children and families. You can download the complete book here.

Montana's Forest Economy

Of the major industries in Montana, none was impacted more by the recession and decline in the U.S. housing industry than the forest products industry. Find this article and more in the latest Montana Business Quarterly.

View Presentations from 2012 Montana Economic Outlook Seminar

Tom Richmond, administrator for the Montana Board of Oil and Gas, discussed "Montana's New Energy Frontier: What are the Prospects?" This half-day seminar held in nine Montana cities highlighted the latest economic trends for local, state, and national economies.

Is Montana's Recovery at Risk?

Montana's economy has shown slow growth, but is the recession truly over? Check out the latest Montana Business Quarterly for more on the economy.

Bureau Takes Home National Publication Awards

BBER continues an award-winning tradition, bringing home national prizes for the Montana Business Quarterly, the Montana Kids Count Data Book and the Montana Manufacturers Survey.

BBER Annual Report 2011

Tracking the trends and unearthing the facts on Montana's economic evolution has always been the core mission of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research. We've tried to give a little flavor of how we go about doing that job on the pages of our annual report for FY 2010-11.

Sustainability Becoming a Priority for Montana Businesses

Montana businesses are discovering that engaging in sustainable business practices increases worker productivity, reduces costs, preserves the environment, offers opportunities and provides competitive advantages, according to the recently released Montana Business Quarterly.

2011 KIDS COUNT Data Book Reveals Effect of Recession on Montana Children

Montana ranks 33rd overall in key indicators of child health and well-being, according to data recently released in the Annie E. Casey Foundation?s 2011 KIDS COUNT Data Book.

Housing Affordability and Montana's Real Estate Markets

A report prepared for the Montana Association of Realtors by the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research. Published June 10, 2011.

Vacation Homes Skyrocket in Western Montana

From 2000 to 2010, the number of vacation homes in Montana skyrocketed, particularly in popular recreation areas such as Flathead and Madison counties, according to Jim Sylvester, an economist at UM's Bureau of Business and Economic Research. Read the Flathead Beacon story here. Read the Missoulian story here.

Register for Midyear Economic Update Series 2011

Patrick Barkey and Paul Polzin of the Bureau will present an economic outlook update in seven Montana communities in early August on the topic "Montana's Construction-less Recovery". Register here.

National, State, and Local Area Economic Forecasts are Featured in the Latest MBQ

The latest issue of the Montana Business Quarterly includes national, state, and local area economic forecasts as well as information on housing, travel and recreation, health care, agriculture, manufacturing, and forest products.

Some Shifts in 2010 Census Numbers Due to Boundary Changes, Not All Growth

Many Montana communities saw increases in population between the 2000 and 2010 Census, but in some cases these shifts were because of changes in geographic boundaries, as well as population growth, according to University of Montana researcher Jim Sylvester.

Housing and Construction Weak Spots in Improving Economy

The sounds of cement mixers, jackhammers and work trucks will be mostly absent again this summer. BBER Director Patrick Barkey estimates it will be another two years before Montana sees anything resembling healthy demand for new homes. Read the Missoulian story here.

Missoula's Housing Market Report Released

Just released - the 2011 Missoula Housing Report. Research from this report was conducted principally by the Missoula Organization of Realtors and the BBER.

2011 Montana Legislature

The winter issue of the Montana Business Quarterly features Montana senators Dave Wanzenreid and Jim Shockley discussing important issues for this year's legislative session.

New Census Data Reveals Population Trends for Missoula County

Missoula's population has grown 17 percent from 2000 to 2010. Check out the slides from Jim Sylvester's presentation at the Missoula Organization of Realtors press conference. Data from other counties coming soon.

Tax Credit Could Reduce Employers' Cost To Provide Health Care Insurance

Nearly 7,400 small businesses in Montana may qualify for a tax credit of up to 35 percent of the health insurance premium they pay for their employees. For employers wanting to reduce the cost of providing health insurance, the tax credit should ease the burden somewhat.

Check Out the New Montana Business Quarterly

The Summer Montana Business Quarterly includes articles on baby boomers migrating to rural populations; the economic impact of The University of Montana; the impact of new health care legislation; the high number of alcohol-related vehicle crashes in Montana.

Midyear Economic Outlook Update for 2010

Patrick Barkey and Paul Polzin of the Bureau presented an economic outlook update in seven Montana communities in early August. Our state is in economic recovery, but conditions are still weak. Their Powerpoint presentations are available here.

BBER IS ON FACEBOOK

Follow us on Facebook to hear the latest news on Montana's economy and receive information about upcoming BBER events.

From Recession to Recovery: Montana's Outlook

It has certainly been a trying time for the Montana economy. The state remains in the grip of its worst recession since the 1980s, and news of closures and layoffs is depressingly easy to find. Yet the long-awaited recovery in the economy has begun to take hold.

Economic Impact of The University of Montana

BBER's recently released report on UM's economic impact reports that 9,700 Montana jobs, $1 billion in after-tax income, $200 million in state tax revenues, and $352 million in annual investment spending are attributable to the University.

Smurfit-Stone Closure Will Have Lasting Impacts on Missoula's Economy

The closure of the Smurfit-Stone facility in Frenchtown, with its 417 full-time jobs and about $45 million in payroll and benefits, will have significant short-term and long-term impacts on the Missoula-area economy.

Economic Outlook Seminar Registration

The seminar will focus on recession impacts, economic recovery, and workforce issues. Economists will explore other local, state and national economic topics in 9 Montana cities beginning 22 January. * Locations * Agenda *

Montana Improves Ranking for Child Well-Being

The 2015 Montana Kids Count Data Book is contained within the Annie E. Casey Foundation state rankings.

Health Care Reform: What Should We Expect?

In polls across the country, fixing health care is right up there with fixing the economy. Emotions are high on both sides of the health care debate. Reform of some shape will have to occur because our present health care cost trajectory is unsustainable.

Montana's Labor Pool: More Workers than Anticipated Available to Fill Jobs

With Montana's median wage rate over $2 an hour lower than the national median wage rate, it is not surprising that half of the state's workforce is willing to switch jobs. The labor pool available is larger than statistics suggest.

Economic Outlook: Montana's Recovery is Closer

The forecasting business is by its very nature future-oriented.So even though evidence of the recession remains depressingly easy to find, the signs of recovery in the coming months are becoming clearer as well. The question for Montana?s economy is, what will the recovery look like?

Economic Outlook Seminar Registration

Paying for the Recession-Rebalancing Montana's Economy
Putting off retirement for another few years? Pushing back that home remodel for awhile? The economy is emerging from the recession, but Montanans face a variety of challenges. How do we rebalance the economy? Hear from economists and experts in all industry sectors beginning 25 January. * Locations * Agenda *

Is Health Care Reform too Complex to Pass?

How can health care be more affordable without driving costs up as the result of increased use? How can programs be financed without adding to the federal deficit? How can reform occur that contains costs without sacrificing quality or choice for the consumer?

Forest Products Industry Post Gains, Outlook Still Gloomy

Montana's forest industry saw increases in employment, wages, and production during the second quarter of 2009, but these indicators remain at very depressed levels.

New Montana Law Allows for Long-Term Care Partnership Plans

New partnership laws encourage individuals to purchase long-term care health insurance, thereby protecting assets and reducing the burden on Medicaid.

Housing Costs are Straining Montanans' Budgets

Housing costs are pushing the limits of Montanans' pocketbooks, with four markets - Kalispell, Bozeman, Missoula, and Hamilton - failing the housing affordability criterion.

BBER Held Summer Economic Outlook Throughout State

The worst recession in a generation isn't over yet, but now is the time to start thinking and planning for the recovery. Check out the presentations for more information.

Subscribe to the Montana Business Quarterly

For more than 40 years, the award-winning Montana Business Quarterly has provided accessible and reliable information about Montana's business and economic climate. The Montana Business Quarterly offers readers state and local economic analyses and forecasts, up-to-date information about Montana's major industries, and business reports and profiles.Subscribe or renew your subscription online now

BBER Hires New Director of Health Care Industry Research

Gregg Davis, the Bureau's new director of health care industry research, will examine the state's health care markets, trends, costs, and other high visibility topics. Davis was an economics faculty member at Flathead Valley Community College, where he directed the Center for Business Information and Research and chaired the Division of Social Sciences. Click here for the full story.

BBER Study Receives National Attention: The Economic Cost of Alcohol Abuse in Montana

Alcohol abuse costs the Montana economy more than $500 million annually, according to a BBER study. The study, authored by Patrick Barkey, director of the BBER, is the first of its kind for the state of Montana.Click here to view study.Forbes Magazines posting of the study: Click here to view press release.

Snowmobilers contribute nearly $14.3 million to the Montana economy each year

Snowmobilers in Montana contribute...

BBER Hires New Director of Health Care Industry Research

44th Pacific Northwest Regional Economic Conference

The Bureau hosted "Opportunities and Challenges in the Pacific Northwest Hinterlands," a conference on energy, tourism, health care, resource use, and much more.