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Volume 51, Number 2, Summer  2013

A Preview of Montana's Health Insurance Marketplace


Gregg Davis and Christina Goe

One of the more visible changes soon to be brought to the forefront by passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the health insurance exchange, or marketplace. More than 350,000 Montanans may have some change in health insurance as a result of the ACA, although not all will enter the marketplace.

Exporting Montana Wood Products

Building New Relationships with Asian Wood Product Importers


Micah Scudder

While construction is just beginning to recover in the U.S., it is booming in Asia, and demand for wood products in Asia has been growing rapidly during the past five years. At the same time, Montana has experienced low domestic wood products sales due to reduced demand during the Great Recession. Could diversifying into new international markets provide opportunities to strengthen Montana's forest products industry?

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.

Oil Boom

Driving Rapid Population Growth in Northeastern Montana


James T. Sylvester

Newly released county population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show significant growth in Montana's northeastern oil patch.