US employers added a modest 199,000 jobs last month while the unemployment rate fell sharply, at a time when companies struggle to fill jobs and many Americans remain reluctant to return to the workforce. The jobs report from the Department of Labor showed that the unemployment rate in the country fell from 4.2% to 3.9%, evidence that many people found jobs last month.
The Labor Market Information Center has released the latest Online Job Opportunity Report (OJOR), a monthly summary of online job opportunities and active resumes from the Job Service North Dakota employment exchange system. North Dakota had a total of 17,073 jobs open and available online in December 2021, a change of -2.9 percent (-507) from the previous month and +32.6 percent (+4,199) from the same month one year earlier. Grand Forks County had 1,621 jobs (+434).
Average long-term mortgage rates in the US have risen to start 2022. They reached their highest level since May 2020, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, but are still historically low. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported that the average 30-year home loan interest rate rose to 3.22% this week from 3.11% last week.
Home sales in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks were flat during the month of December. The Grand Forks Council of Realtors reported that 70 homes and apartments were sold in the past month. That compares to 74 in 2020, 46 in 2019… and 40 through December 2018. The average sales price last month was $226,458.
Allegiant Air orders new planes from Boeing. It’s a win for Boeing because Allegiant’s current fleet consists entirely of planes from European rival Airbus. Allegiant said Wednesday it will buy 50 Boeing 737 Max aircraft and is making options for 50 more. Terms of the deal have not been released. Each plane costs between $99 million and $122 million, but airlines routinely take big discounts. Allegiant says it will take delivery of the planes from 2023 to 2025.
Passengers looking to transfer from Grand Forks Airport now have a few options to choose from. Delta this week added a fourth daily round-trip flight between GFK and MSP. The move adds an additional 50 seats between the two markets. Allegiant also resumed service after takeoff in December due to staffing and retrofitting new aircraft. Allegiant provides service from GFK to Las Vegas… Phoenix… and Orlando.
The New York Times buys sports news site The Athletic for $550 million. It’s the latest move in its strategy to expand its audience of paying subscribers to the fading out of newspaper print advertising. The website Athletic says it has more than 400 editorial staff, making it a major acquisition for The Times, which has more than 2,000 editorial rooms.
New debt collection rules now allow debt collectors to use emails, text messages and social media to track consumers in their quest to pay off debt. Minnesota consumers are still in control of which communication method a debt collector can use. The new rules also place more limits on the number of times collection agencies can contact consumers. The collection agency cannot attempt to contact a consumer more than seven times within seven days for each account in the groups.
The North Dakota Lottery Director of Sales and Marketing says people keep playing lottery games. Ryan Koppy says unaudited numbers show a $2.7 million increase in lottery sales in fiscal 2021, compared to 2020. He says Powerball is the big money maker — but other games — including Mega Millions and Two By Two — are doing well. Well too.
Altru’s new CEO will officially take office on February 28. Todd Forkel comes from a nonprofit health system in South Dakota. Prior to taking up his most recent position with Avera, he held leadership positions at Essentia Health, Innovis Health and Mayo Clinic.
Earl Haugen, CEO of Grand Forks Urban Planning, has announced his retirement. Haugen has worked with MPO since 1993. His last day in the position will be February 25th. He will soon start searching for his replacement.
The North Dakota Department of Commerce Department of Tourism and Marketing has launched a newly improved website. The improved site is designed to highlight the vitality of the state with a new look and improved usability. NDtourism.com hosted 2,155,110 visits and provided 281,712 referrals to partner sites in 2021. Site traffic grew 26% in 2021 as well as a 52% increase in 2020.
New data from the music industry confirms what many people have long suspected – 2021 was a very good year for Morgan, Elaine, Adele and Vinyl. MRC Data’s year-end report, presented in collaboration with Billboard, shows Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” finished in 2021 as the best country album of the year and the most popular album of all genres, earning 3.2 million album-equivalent units. during the year. Adele’s “30” album recorded the highest sales for the first time in four years.