America’s employers continued to hire vigorously in October, adding 261,000 jobs, a sign the economy remains a picture of solid job growth and painful inflation. The unemployment rate rose to a still-healthy 3.7% from a five-decade low of 3.5%. Average hourly earnings rose 4.7% year-on-year, a smaller year-on-year increase than in September.
Home sales in Grand Forks / East Grand Forks fell slightly in October compared to a year earlier. A total of 80 single-family homes and condominiums were sold last month. That compares to 88 in each of the past two years. According to the Grand Forks Area Association of Realtors, the median sale price in October was $264,890. Figures do not include private sales.
The National Retail Federation, the country’s largest retail group, expects holiday sales growth to slow to a range of 6% to 8% this year, down from stormy 13.5% growth last year. The trade group forecasts sales for the November-December period to rise to between $942.6 billion and $960.4 billion. Holiday sales have grown an average of 4.9% over the last 10 years.
The Labor Market Information Center calculated data on North Dakota’s cost of living. Seven basic cost-of-living categories are tracked: food, housing, healthcare, transportation, childcare, other necessities, and taxes. In Grand Forks County, a family of four needs an annual income of $70,594 to cover living expenses. That’s $744 below the national average.
Since allowing electronic pull tabs in North Dakota during the 2017 legislature, the number of e-tab machines in the state has grown to approximately 4,500 machines in 800 locations — surpassing the approximately 3,300 Class III slots found in tribal casinos in North Dakota located in North Dakota. Gov. Burgum expects lawmakers to take a comprehensive look at all gambling — including sports betting and e-tabs — during the 2023 session.
Grand Forks P&Z has granted a temporary R-2 zone change permit for the 1600 4th Avenue North property. United Way wants to buy the former Wesley United Church for a daycare and coffee shop. The proposed PUD states that the coffee shop is inside the building and has no drive-through. The city council will consider the change on December 19.
The North Dakota Department of Commerce has awarded $1,804,803 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to 13 North Dakota communities. The program provides financial support in the form of grants for public institutions, public services, housing rehabilitation and economic development projects. Manvel was paid $89,372 to work on the city’s sidewalks and make them ADA accessible.
Minnesota will receive $15 million from the US Department of Agriculture to set up a revolving loan program that will support small and medium-sized meat and poultry processors. The fund will offer low-interest loans for establishing, expanding or operating slaughterhouses and value-added meat and poultry processing plants. Loan applications will be available in early 2023.
Volkswagen is recalling nearly 225,000 vehicles in the US because tire pressure monitoring systems may not detect air loss in all four tires at the same time. The recall affects certain 2019 Tiguan, Golf Sportswagen, Golf Alltrack, Golf R and Audi Q3 and A3. Also covered are some 2019 and 2020 Jetta, Golf, Atlas and Audi A3 models and some 2020-2021 Atlas Cross Sport and Atlas vehicles. Notification letters will be sent out on December 30th.
Sticker shock in youth sports is nothing new, but the onslaught of double-digit inflation across America this year has added a costly wrinkle to its way to baseball stadiums, swimming pools and dance studios across America. It has forced some families to reduce the number of seasons, leagues, or sports their children can play in any given year, while motivating league organizers to get more creative in finding ways to keep prices low and the keep participation high.
Starbucks revenue rose 3% to a record $8.41 billion in the fiscal fourth quarter as U.S. customers shrugged off higher prices for frothy drinks and snacks. The Seattle coffee giant said its same-store sales — or sales at locations that have been open for at least a year — rose 7%. That beat Wall Street forecasts.
As America eats an estimated 600 million pounds of Halloween candy, a handful of companies are trying to make it easier to recycle all of that packaging. Mars Wrigley is sending 17,400 free bags to US consumers to collect plastic packaging and send it to a specialty recycler. Rubicon Technologies is sending 5,000 free boxes to schools and businesses to recycle candy wrappers. Plastic packaging is difficult to recycle because it is small, contains food waste and has little value.