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North Dakota’s economic outlook improves as COVID-19 wanes

May 25, 2021 GMT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A new quarterly report shows North Dakota’s economic outlook is improving as the coronavirus pandemic begins to wane.

The second-quarter outlook from North Dakota State University shows a growing labor force, an increase in gross state product and steady total tax collections, the Bismarck Tribune reported.

One cloud in the improved outlook is lingering difficulties in the labor market, where wages and salaries are projected to decrease and unemployment might increase.

The unemployment rate is projected to increase early in the second and third quarters before leveling off near 6.5%.

Overall, “The current forecast shows a continuation of positive trends for the state with variances between the different regions,” said economics professor Jeremy Jackson, director of the Center for the Study of Public Choice and Private Enterprise.

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The Bismarck metro is poised for growth in its labor force with wages expected to hold steady, while Fargo and Grand Forks may have more difficulty rebounding from the pandemic economy, the report stated.

The report’s forecasts are based on the most recently available data when the model was run this month. These forecasts serve as a projection for how the economy will respond to current economic conditions based on historical data and trends.

The outlook is prepared by the university’s Center for the Study of Public Choice and Private Enterprise.