Montana Public Radio

Bureau of Business and Economic Research

A new report shows Missoula’s growing population, combined with a tight housing supply continues to drive high demand and ever higher home prices.

Housing prices may dip in the short term due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. The long-term effects on real estate are still unclear.

PD

The U.S. Forest Service is allowing loggers more time to meet their contracts in national forests due to the novel coronavirus, according to a notice published in the federal register Wednesday.

The move is meant to lend a helping hand to the timber industry as operations shut down across the country, the notice says.

Many Montana companies are struggling to find suitable workers to fill job openings. Researchers and industry experts at a seminar in Bozeman Wednesday say there aren’t enough skilled applicants. But educators say they see opportunities in more apprenticeships.

Montana saw wage growth in 2019, but an economic slowdown is expected in coming years, according to University of Montana researchers. The Bureau of Business and Economic Research released its annual outlook Tuesday in Helena.

Employment Impacts of Hutterite Communities in Montana
UM Bureau of Business and Economic Research

Montana’s communal, agrarian Hutterite colonies are unfamiliar to many outsiders, but a first-of-its kind study shows the religious sect’s statewide economic impact can’t be ignored.

Hutterite communities pack an economic wallop, even in non-Hutterite sectors of Montana’s economy. That’s according to a study released Tuesday by researchers at the University of Montana and Montana State University.

Pyramid Mountain Lumber Company in Seeley Lake, Montana
Nick Mott

Amidst the golden, glowing larches bordering Seeley Lake, freshly cut one-by-fours stream down a sort of disassembly line. This is Pyramid Mountain Lumber Company, and it’s one of increasingly few places in Montana where cut trees are turned into timber.