NDSU Researchers Paint a Painfully Gloomy Forecast for North Dakota’s Economy, Showing Us Why the State’s Economy Had to Re-Open

Bella LeTexier, an Olive Garden employee, stands by 13th Avenue holding up a sign stating that the lobby of the restaurant has been reopened on Friday, May 1, in Fargo. Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum

MINOT, N.D. — The researchers at North Dakota State University’s Center for the Study of Public Choice and Private Enterprise have released a forecast for North Dakota’s economy.

It’s not news to you readers that a “flock of black swans” (to swipe a term Gov. Doug Burgum has been using) has descended on the state’s economy. It’s the coronavirus, yes, but it’s also tanking oil prices that have all but stilled oil and gas development.

Also, government-created imbalances in the energy markets have threatened the long-stable coal industry. Coal Creek Station, the largest coal-fired power plant in North Dakota, is at risk of closing, which would mean the loss of thousands of jobs.

Plus, there are all the usual challenges our state faces from flooding and the ups-and-downs of the agriculture markets.

The impact of all these “black swans” is what the NDSU researchers set out to measure. What they’ve found isn’t good.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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