Northern Plains News Service
North Dakota has seen rising wages and low unemployment since the Bakken oil boom began. It's also seeing what may be another byproduct of the boom: rising marijuana prices. According to PriceOfWeed.com, an anonymous marijuana price self-reporting site, oil-rich North Dakota has the highest priced pot in the nation at $406.34 an ounce for "high quality" weed, $352.92 for "medium quality" weed and $363.11 for "low quality" marijuana.
Legislators in three states — including South Dakota — are approving legislation that will modernize how insurers provide documents to their policyholders. That's according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America. "Access to technology has changed how many consumers handle their personal finances. A growing number of consumers want to manage their personal business via email and text or on a website that is accessible 24/7," said Kelly Campbell, PCI vice president.
North Dakota was one of only three states that saw wages rise for so-called "low-income wage earners" during the Great Recession, according to a new study by the Economic Policy Institute. Low-income wage earners are in the bottom 20 percentile, according to EPI. North Dakota led the nation in the low-income wage range with hourly wages up 58 cents as measured in 2013 wages between 2009 and 2013. The only other states to show increases were Mississippi and West Virginia.
In the Midwest, the University of South Dakota is one of the top "best value" public colleges in the region, according to a new report. Bestvalueschools.com recently released its appraisals and ranked USD in Vermillion 13th. The University of North Dakota in Grand Forks ranked 10th. The site ranked schools based on in-state net return on investment. The site calculated the 30-year ROI for USD at $388,000. For UND, it was $615,000. The website noted the following about USD:
In South Dakota, the "sons" have it: Johnson, Nelson, Erickson, Carlson, Larson, Peterson, Thompson, Anderson and Olson. According to research by National Geographic, these names are among the most common last names in South Dakota by region. However, there's also a good smattering of Hofers, Williams, Lees, Fischers, Hoffmans, Browns, Millers, Schmidts, Davises -- as well as Smiths and Joneses. The "sens" are also represented, including Jensen and Hansen.
North Dakota was the only state in the United States to see an increase in self-employment from 2009 to 2013. Washington, D.C., was the only other location to also see such growth, according to a recent report by CareerBuilder.com. North Dakota saw 5 percent growth during that time and Washington, D.C., experienced 1 percent self-employment growth. All other states saw a decline in self-employment, but certain metropolitan areas saw isolated self-employment growth, according to the report.
South Dakota’s top trading partners in 2013, in order, were Canada, $689 million; Mexico, $374 million; Saudi Arabia, $69 million; China, $48 million; and Japan, $40 million.
It isn’t just North Dakota’s oil rich Bakken fields that have shown a dramatic increase in production. Oil and gas production in South Dakota’s Harding County in the extreme northwest...
If the Dakotas were countries they'd both be Kenya. That's the conclusion of a recent study and graphic on the website Reddit based on the gross domestic product of each U.S. state and a country with a corresponding GDP. For example, California would be Canada, as it has a GDP (greater than $1 trillion) that's roughly equally to America's northern friend and ally. In the Northern Plains, the GDPs roughly match up accordingly: • South Dakota = Kenya. • North Dakota = Kenya. • Montana = Ethiopia. • Wyoming = Ethiopia. • Nebraska = Oman.
Most North and South Dakota counties saw their highest population on or before 1930, according to a study by the Daily Kos, an online political journal. Conversely, few counties experienced peak population in 2010, the last U.S. Census. In South Dakota, counties in the Black Hills and a number of counties on Interstate 29 had their peak populations in 2010. In North Dakota, counties on the east and west end of Interstate 94 saw their highest populations in 2010. Meanwhile, much of the center of the two Dakotas saw population peaks ranging from 1910 to 2000.