July 2nd, 2014

North Dakota’s Economy Is Booming

North Dakota’s Economy Is Booming

When you think of the great centers of American economic growth, the Great Plains states don’t necessarily jump to mind. It might be time to change that thought process, though. Look out Wall Street, here comes North Dakota.

GDP Doubled in 11 Years

Over the last 11 years, North Dakota’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has more than doubled. The 2013 total of $49.8 billion is still quite low compared to most states, but when put into the context of North Dakota’s tiny population (just over 700,000 residents) the number is impressive. North Dakota now has the second largest state economy per capita, and the massive expansion still isn’t showing signs of slowing down. The state ranked first again in growth in 2013.

The cause and effect can all be traced back to that most American of natural resources, oil. As new technology, mainly controversial fracking techniques, has made huge reserves of oil available to drilling, new jobs and remarkable profits have flown into the state’s coffers. The rising tide of an oil boom has proved beneficial to other industries, as restaurants, hotels, landlords, gas stations and other retail establishments all rapidly expand to meet the unforeseen growth in demand.

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June 24th, 2014

Study Finds Best and Worst States to Make a Living

Study Finds Best and Worst States to Make a Living

A recent study by finance site MoneyRates.com analyzed average salaries, employment rates, cost of living figures and workplace conditions in order to determine which U.S. states are the best to live and work in. Their findings include plenty of regional variation, as well as a big gap between the best performers and the worst.

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June 19th, 2014

Job Market Hits New High for First Time Since 2008

Job Market Hits New High for First Time Since 2008

Starting with a large dip in early 2008, the U.S. economy lost over 8 million jobs through the next two years. Four years after that low point, however, the job market is starting to look healthy again, with a new jobs peak and unemployment down to just 6.3 percent after a high point of closer to 10.

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June 17th, 2014

The Economic Setbacks of Student Loan Debt

The Economic Setbacks of Student Loan Debt

For many college graduates, commencement is not only a time to reflect on all of their hard work over the past four years, but also a reminder that reality is waiting on the other side of the stage. In addition to the threat of a weak job market where 44 percent of recent graduates work in positions that don’t require a college degree, this reality includes the burden of student loans.

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June 12th, 2014

For Most Americans, the Housing Crisis Isn’t Over

housing crisis

In the eyes of many economists, the housing and mortgage crisis of the late 2000s is in our national past. According to a recent survey by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, however, a large majority of Americans don’t feel the same.

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November 15th, 2011

Why Our Parents Had More Money at Our Age

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As if the economy hadn’t beaten us down enough. A new report from the Pew Center shows adults younger than 35 have a lot less money than their parents did at the same age. Specifically, in 1984, an adult aged 35 and younger, had an average net worth of $11,521. Nowadays? An adult that age has an average net worth of $3,662.

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November 4th, 2011

Big Banks Drop Debit Card Fees, But Can They Still Hold on to Customers?

atm fees

Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase announced that they’ll be dropping plans to charge customers a monthly fee for using their debit cards. This comes after a month of consumers protesting the fees and threatening to leave big banks with movements like "Bank Transfer Day," Occupy Wall Street movement and other local demonstrations.

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November 1st, 2011

Consumer Confidence Drops at the Worst Possible Moment

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Hey, let’s have a quick catch-up quiz to see how you’re feeling about the economy: How do you feel about current business conditions? What about in the next six months? How do you think employment is doing? Do you think it’ll get easier or harder to find a job in the next six months? How do you think your family’s income will change in the next six months?

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October 27th, 2011

Pros and Cons of Using Layaway This Holiday Season

It’s not even Halloween yet and the mania around holiday shopping has already begun. The latest ploy to send holiday shoppers into a spending frenzy? The reemergence of the layaway plan. In response to customer demand and the current state of the economy, Walmart has decided to join other major retailers like Sears, Best Buy and Toys “R” Us in bringing back the old-fashioned layaway program commonly used in department stores for years.

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October 13th, 2011

Will Bank Transfer Day Take Down Big Banks?

Man-Transferring-Money

Occupy Wall Street has received a lot of media attention due in large part to the protests and arrests occurring in New York and other major cities. Many consider the conversation around the dissatisfaction of banks to be a constructive idea, yet despite their growing following, Occupy Wall Street has yet to put any plans into motion to change the system.

That all changed this past week when an event called “Bank Transfer Day” emerged on Facebook encouraging people to switch from their current bank to a credit union by Nov. 5. While the event’s creator is not directly tied to Occupy Wall Street, many of its followers have shown support for the event, and it could mark the turning point for the movement.

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