MTPR

University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research

Housing costs in Montana relative to the U.S. and other Western states.
BBER analysis of 2016 American Community Survey (1-year). / http://www.bber.umt.edu/pubs/seminars/2018/EconRpt2018.pdf

Housing prices in Montana continue to rise, but how affordable housing looks depends a lot on where you stand. Economists from the University of Montana are focusing on affordable housing in their annual series of economic outlook seminars. The first was in Helena Tuesday, nine more are scheduled across the state between now and mid-March.

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

Power plant at Colstrip, MT.
Beth Saboe / MontanaPBS

A new study funded in part by the coal industry says shutting down of Colstrip’s two newer, larger coal-fired electricity generators in the next decade could have a huge impact statewide.

Colstrip’s two older units, 1 and 2, will shut down no later than July 2022 because of a Clean Air Act lawsuit settlement. But the future of the newer units, 3 and 4, remains uncertain.

Mining industry advocates went on the offensive Wednesday against a proposed ballot initiative they say would effectively ban future mining in the state.

The opposition group to ballot initiative 186 announced its launch a day after the Montana Supreme Court ruled against the mining industry’s request to void the initiative.

Kristin Page-Nei, one of the authors of I-185, speaks in support of the initiative in Helena, April 19, 2018. The ballot initiative proposes increasing tobacco taxes to raise money for health care programs, including Medicaid expansion.
Corin-Cates Carney

Montana’s Medicaid expansion program, which provides more than 93,000 people in the state health coverage, expires in just over a year. Campaigns are now underway to stop that from happening and to lobby support for the health care program.

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.

Gov. Bullock signs the Medicaid expansion plan into law, April 29, 2015 at the state Capitol. The bill's sponsor Sen. Ed Buttrey, and supporter Stephanie Wallace look on.
Steve Jess

Governor Steve Bullock is praising a new report outlining the economic benefits of Medicaid expansion in Montana. The program expanding health insurance coverage for people with low incomes is set to expire next year unless it’s reauthorized by state lawmakers.

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.

House for sale.
(PD)

Whitefish is setting the pace for growth in home prices in northwest Montana, and economists say housing markets in Flathead County are looking healthy. MTPR's Nicky Ouellet reports from the 2018 Economic Outlook Seminar in Kalispell.

Drivers of economic activity in Flathead County.
UM Bureau of Business and Economic Research

Health care has emerged as a major driver of the Flathead Valley economy, researchers from the University of Montana and local experts said Tuesday. MTPR's Nicky Ouellet reports from the 2018 Economic Outlook Seminar in Kalispell.

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