Current Issue

Volume 53, Number 2, Summer  2015

High Growth for High Tech

Fast-Growing, High-Pay Industry Cluster is Outpacing Other Sectors of Montana's Economy


Patrick M. Barkey, John Baldridge, Christina Henderson, and Shannon Furniss

Montana is quietly increasing its footprint in high-tech businesses, with growth projected to vastly exceed the average statewide economic growth. Unbeknownst to many, there are a number of high-tech companies scattered across Montana that are creating high paying jobs and challenging the older stereotypes about our economic base.

The Economic Reach of the Bakken Oil Fields

Eastern Montana Activities Have Statewide Impacts


Paul E. Polzin

Prime topics of conversation in Sidney and throughout the Bakken area are the latest rumors and speculations about the price of oil. Some people are wondering what the impact of the drop of the price of oil by 50 percent since mid-2014 will do to the economies of Eastern Montana. But it is not just the people living within 50 miles of the Montana-North Dakota line who should be concerned because the economic impacts will be felt far from the drilling and extraction sites.

Restoration of National Forests Benefits Local Communities


Chelsea P. McIver

The federal government is a major land owner in the western part of Montana, and many communities benefit from management of these lands. Restoration and maintenance projects on national forests can provide economic benefits to local and regional communities in the form of jobs, wages, and the secondary effects generated when businesses buy supplies in the community and workers spend their wages. Federal contracting of restoration and maintenance also provides other nonmonetary benefits: enhancement of natural and human capital such as improved ecosystem function, enhancement of business capacity, and the ability for individuals and families to stay in the community.

Central Montana's Vibrant Manufacturing Center Reaches Global Markets


Shannon Furniss, Colin B. Sorenson, Steven W. Hayes and Todd A. Morgan

Situated in the geographic center of Montana in the midst of rolling hills, farms, and ranches is something a little unexpected: one of the most vibrant manufacturing communities in the state. With a population of about 6,500, Lewistown has a cluster of companies that design, engineer, and manufacture products for airports, oil companies, federal agencies, food distribution centers, sports arenas, hospitals, banks, schools, the military, and the aerospace industry, to name a few. Together, the group supports nearly 500 manufacturing jobs in the Lewistown area.