Montana Public Radio

University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research

Oil well.
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Crude oil prices hit a new high Wednesday. MTPR's Edward O’Brien has more on what that means for consumers and what’s left of Montana’s oil producers

U.S. crude notched above $61 a barrel, Wednesday. That’s the first time that’s happened in two-and-a-half years.

Annual Change In State Personal Income Adjusted For Inflation 2007-2016
Screen shot of Pew Charitable Trust Research

Montana is facing a state budget crisis. The state is projected to have about $200 million less than it needs to fund everything in the budget that lawmakers and the governor agreed to this year. That much is clear, but there's a lot of disagreement about why the $200 million hole is there, and what to do about it.

The budget that state lawmakers passed, and that Governor Steve Bullock signed, was based on forecasts that projected Montana's economy would generate a lot more tax revenue than it actually did. That budget is now falling apart.

But the Bullock administration continues to tout the strength of Montana's economy

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.

Montana's economy slowed significantly in 2016, and continued slow growth is projected for this year.
Courtesy BBER Montana

Montana's economy slowed significantly in 2016, and continued slow growth is projected for this year. That's according to new numbers released today by economists at the University of Montana.

A slide from a new survey showing how Montanans get Montana news.
Courtesy University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research

A new survey shows that more Montanans are turning to the internet for news than any other source. And it says most Montana online news consumers are getting it via their smartphones.

Griz football game at the University of Montana
flickr user MuddyRavine (CC-BY-NC-ND-2)

A new report by University of Montana economists examines the impact of Grizzly athletics on Missoula’s economy. The study by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research says that between 2013 and 2015, UM athletics brought nearly $23 million a year into the university.

Under the new bill, craft brewers will now be able to sell beer in tasting rooms on premises and still can and keg up to 60,000 barrels a year.
Kelli Whithorn (CC-BY-2)

A University of Montana Business Survey says that manufacturers in Montana are optimistic about the year ahead.

Governor Steve Bullock gave an upbeat assessment of Montana’s economy today as he unveiled his office’s 2015 Economic Development Report.
Corin Cates-Carney

Governor Steve Bullock gave an upbeat assessment of Montana’s economy today as he unveiled his office’s 2015 Economic Development Report.

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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.

Montana has seen almost seven straight years of economic growth now, and more is forecasted for the future.

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