Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Mixed Economic News

Over the weekend, the Tribune reported that the tourism industry in the state, while up, wasn't making up for lost oilfield income to the state.

This is no surprise.  Most tourism related jobs don't pay particularly well.  Tourism, of course, does spill over into retail, but there's a long ways to go before the loss in employment in the extractive industries is made up by tourism. Not that there isn't an avenue to explore maximizing that, which I don't think we've done so far.  Indeed, I think there's a lot that remains to be done in that field.

And perhaps it should be. The State is reporting that the economic downturn is slowing, or flattening. That doesn't mean that an oilfield and mining rebound is in the works, although its certain that some will instantly interpret it that way.  No, rather, what that means is that we've potentially hit bottom and, at the same time, the price of oil seems to be stabilizing. That's far from the rapid recovery people were wishing for, but those wishes were never realistic to start with.

Added to this, Governor Mead has reported that the state will not be making more layoffs. That's certainly good news for the state as the role of the State government in keeping employment rolling is an under reported, maybe even missed, story.  A warning, however, went out to the legislature, which has strong anti Keynesian tendencies, not to cut more as that would reverse this.

So perhaps some stability is entering the picture for awhile.  And if that's the case, it might be a good thing to do some planning around this economy, rather than a boom one.

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