MTPR

Bryce Ward

Average wages by Montana county.
Montana Department Of Labor and Industry

Wage growth in Montana was 6th fastest in the nation over the last decade. That was one among a number or rosey statistics shared by the Bullock administration during its release of the 2019 Labor Day Report, Tuesday.

Montanans who buy individual health care plans through the federal government’s Healthcare.gov marketplace will pay less for it next year, at least partially due to a new state law.

State Auditor Matt Rosendale today announced that the three companies providing insurance under the Affordable Care Act exchange expect to cut average premiums on policies for individuals by 8 to 14% for 2020.

University of Montana economist Bryce Ward says that’s rare in a country where health care costs generally increase faster than inflation.

Population, percent change - April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2018
U.S. Census Bureau

New population numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau Thursday show that Gallatin County’s population has grown 25 percent since the 2010 census.

That’s far ahead of Madison County which had the next highest growth rate at 14 percent.

A graph from Economist Bryce Ward's analysis of Medicaid expansion in Montana
Bryce Ward

When Republican state lawmakers heard an updated economic report yesterday that says Medicaid expansion grows Montana's economy, they didn't have a lot of questions, or push back much against the findings.

"The big numbers are roughly 6,000 jobs, roughly $350 million of personal income, $420 million of gross state product," Economist Bryce Ward said at the state Capitol yesterday, presenting a follow-up to his April study on Medicaid expansion.

Share of working age populatin who own a business as their main job.
2017 Kauffman Index of Mainstreet Entrepreneurship


Montana leads the country in entrepreneurship, according to a new study by the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research

Medicaid expansion in Montana is expected to cost the state more than $58 million annually in a couple of years. But, a new economic analysis says the healthcare program in on track to pay for itself by then through savings in other parts of the state budget and increased economic activity.

Hospital monitor.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

The hundreds of millions of federal tax dollars that Medicaid expansion is bringing to Montana have added thousands of jobs here and significantly boosted the state’s economy. It’s enough of a boost to pay for Montana’s share of the jointly-funded health program.

That’s according to a new report by Economist Bryce Ward with the UM’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research. He summarized it for a legislative oversight committee Thursday.

Montana Department of Labor Commissioner Pam Bucy joined Governor Steve Bullock in the Capitol Tuesday, September 5, to release the Labor report.
Corin Cates-Carney

The Montana Governor’s Office released its annual labor report today, touting economic growth and strength along with a low state unemployment rate.

Montana Department of Labor Commissioner Pam Bucy joined Governor Steve Bullock in the Capitol Tuesday to release the report.

Hospital monitor.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Healthcare employment in Montana grew by more than 3 percent last year, after years of growth below 1 percent. That's according to the new annual report from the University of Montana's Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

2016 was the first full year of Medicaid expansion in Montana under the Affordable Care Act, which helped the state's uninsured rate drop by nearly two-thirds.

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Audio Pending...

Growing demand for healthcare means that Montana is going to need 40 percent more healthcare workers in a decade than it has now. That’s according to University of Montana Economist Bryce Ward. He says that just to meet the projected growth in demand, the state will need 7,000 more healthcare workers by 2025.

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