Where There Are Jobs for the Taking…And Where There Are Not

By August 13, 2009Economy, Energy, Taxation

From Marketplace, the public radio business show, a report, “Need a job? North Dakota is calling“:

DAN BOBKOFF: Here in Ohio, the recession has only added to the woes of foreclosures and plant closings. It can be a little depressing.

So when I called up Shane Goettle, who heads the North Dakota Department of Commerce, it was a bit like stepping into bizarro world.

SHANE GOETTLE: Overall our unemployment rate is 4.2 for June. We’ve had real good strength in energy, agriculture. Tourism has actually been good for us.

And then, there’s this:

GOETTLE: We have thousands of jobs available in the state. As of July 1, there are about 9,000 openings.

Good story in that it doesn’t engage in the usual belittling of the state, albeit mentioning the cold winters. (And in that it quotes our friend, Shane.)

The report also correctly attributes much of North Dakota’s good fortune to the high prices of energy and agriculture commodities, which topped out in 2008. (The wheat market is bearish.) But North Dakota — and the rest of the country — would not have been in position to take advantage of the soaring oil prices if it hadn’t been for technological advances in the area of seismic exploration, horizontal drilling and hydrofracturing — making the Bakken Formation — profitable to develop. So thanks oil industry!

Speaking of Bizzaro worlds, here’s Michael Barone’s column in The Washington Examiner, “Michigan Madness.”

Ordinarily a pretty savvy political operator, [Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer] is now suggesting five ballot propositions for the 2010 ballot. Their aim apparently is to improve the lot of Michigan citizens. But the result, as anyone with an iota of sense can see, would be to inflict horrifying damage on an already staggering state economy. They include:

  • Mandating all employers to provide affordable health care for all their employees and dependents or pay a penalty.
  • Raising the minimum wage from $7.40 per hour to $10 per hour and covering all workers with no exceptions.
  • Increasing unemployment benefits by $100 a week, making all workers eligible and adding six months to the time one can receive benefits.
  • Cutting utility rates by 20%.
  • Imposing a one-year moratorium on home foreclosures.

Why not raise the minimum wage to $100 an hour, Barone asks?

(Hat tip, Instapundit, who also links to The Hill’s story on the NAM/ACCF study about Waxman-Markey.)

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