Wednesday, October 21, 2015

North Dakota #1 In Nation For Economic Development -- US Chamber Of Commerce -- October 21, 2015

Wow, I'm in a great mood. I finished Catcher in the Rye; I'm having a grand time with re-reading a book on physics. I have no idea what I fiction I will read next; I haven't read Woolf in a long time, or perhaps Joseph Conrad. We'll see.

First two thoughts I had when nearing end of the book:
  • huge difference from the writing of Virginia Woolf in Mrs Dalloway
  • was this the 1950 version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid? 
I remember the thrill I felt when I recognized the climax in The Great Gatsby. I think it was a lot easier, a lot more obvious, recognizing the climax in The Catcher.

Gas is less than $2.00/gallon here in Texas. It's $2.09 almost everywhere, but there is a station a couple of miles away selling regular for $1.85. They say it will go down in price next week.

We're going to get drenched in north Texas starting tomorrow night and going through Sunday. I will believe it when I see it, but when it rains here, it really rains here.

And then several stories Don sent me last night that had to wait until this morning to get posted. We had an unusual soccer game last night -- unusual only in the fact it was on a Tuesday night. Soccer is generally on the weekends. It was a recreational game so not critically important; we lost 4 - 2. For me, the highlight was the spectacular goal our granddaughter scored off her left foot, from the far left side of the field, putting it into the far right corner of the goal, tying the game 2 - 2, after trailing 2 - 0 most of the game. This team beat us 8 - 0 so it was a better game this year.

Now for the stories Don sent me.

This was clearly the most incredible. The US Chamber of Commerce voted North Dakota #1 in the nation for economic performance. The Bismarck Tribune is reporting:
North Dakota has been ranked first in the nation on its economic performance and the talent in its pipeline by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. 
In addition, the state was ranked sixth in overall business climate, according to the foundation's sixth annual "Enterprising States: States Innovate" study released Tuesday.
The study highlights the states best poised for the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) focused economy.
North Dakota is at the top in STEM job growth but is still low in the actual number of STEM jobs per capita, according to the study.
Much, much more at the link.

How's the Bakken bust affect employment in the state? The Dickinson Press is reporting that North Dakota's unemployment rate dropped in September. Yup, dropped. I assume that puts us back in the #1 spot for that category also. The story:
North Dakota experienced a dip in its unemployment rate in September, down 0.3 percent statewide from August.
Job Service North Dakota reported Tuesday that the 2.2 percent September rate is unchanged from 2014. The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate, which takes external factors like weather and daylight into account, puts the unemployment rate at 2.8 percent, well below the 5.1 percent national average.
I always like that "seasonal adjustment" stuff.  I assume a lot of the riff raff will take the first Amtrak out once it starts getting cold, which usually happens Halloween Eve, give or take a few days. The Geographic Discovery fakomentories on all the crime in North Dakota will keep more of the riff raff out of the state, now that they know we're unto them, and the 12-member Fort Berthold Indian Reservation has things under control. Assuming two have to be in the station to man the phones, and there are three shifts, it leaves about one law enforcement officer on the road at all times in that huge area, about the size of Manhattan, I suppose. In this case, though, the Indians got to keep that land about the size of Manhattan.

Don also sent a link to a Seeking Alpha story. This one was on railcars. Four bullets at the link. These are the two links that caught my eye. 
  • U.S. rail carloads fell 1.6% in the quarter on lower demand for coal, crude oil and metals.
  • Railcar makers still enjoy a backlog of more than 122K units, although that is down from a record of 142K at the end of last year.
With all the headwinds in the oil and gas industry, a decrease of 1.6% in rail carloads is hardly noteworthy. And with a backlog of 122,000 units I doubt Trinity Industries or Greenbrier will run out of things to do before the economy turns for the better.

And the famous Texas kid that lives just down the street from us will be moving to Qatar with his family where they will, no doubt, begin a clock-manufacturing business. It will be interesting to see if some of those clocks show up in northern Iraq before it's all over. I'm betting the family is back in the US before 2020. And the way Putin is putting his kingdom back together, they could, for all we know, be back in the USSR.

By the way, speaking of back to the future, it is "back to the future" day today. Everywhere. 

Back in the USA, Linda Ronstadt

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