Shared State

Pledging to bring Montana more “good-paying jobs” is a time-honored cliche for politicians on the campaign trail. But what can elected officials really do to expand economic opportunity for Montanans? And what concerns are Montanans weighing as they decide whether they can build the life they want here?

Exploring Montana’s economic future

Montana, as the saying goes, is one big small town with really long streets. The Long Streets Project aims to cover it like that, focusing on the economic trends and issues that shape the opportunity Montanans have — or don’t have — to make a decent living.

Next stop: uncertainty

Passenger rail advocates say Amtrak’s plan to reduce the Empire Builder to three days a week will cost the state more than $38 million.

Homegrown

If Montanans want to keep Montana-grown food — and the associated dollars — in-state, the local supply chain will have the be expanded. That includes storage and distribution infrastructure, but the bottleneck is mostly at the food processor level.

Feds release data on Paycheck Protection loan recipients

Data released this week by the U.S. Small Business Administration provides the first detailed accounting of the businesses aided by the Paycheck Protection Program, indicating that Montana’s loan recipients span nearly the full width of the state’s economic landscape.

What jobs may come

State labor department figures released in late September estimate 62,300 job openings in Montana each year through 2028. What they pay, and whether you can get them, has a lot to do with education.

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