Business News: ND jobs…GFK & organic crops

Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates jumped by more than a quarter-point this week to their highest level since 2008, a result of the Federal Reserve’s intensified effort to tamp down decades-high inflation and cool the economy. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year rate climbed to 6.29% from 6.02% last week.


The number of Americans filing for jobless benefits rose slightly last week despite the Federal Reserve’s year-long battle against inflation that’s intended to cool the economy and the tight labor market. Applications for unemployment benefits for the week ending Sept. 17 rose by 5,000 to 213,000.


North Dakota’s August 2022 not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.2 percent.  The unemployment rate one month prior was 2.2 percent while one year ago the rate was 3.3 percent. A total of 9,111 North Dakotans were in search of work in August.


Leisure & Hospitality continued to post the highest over the year growth of all the supersectors in Minnesota up 6.5% with the addition of 16,643 jobs.  Arts, Entertainment, & Recreation posted 10.7% growth (4,951 jobs). Accommodation and Food Services grew 5.5% (11,692 jobs).  Despite slowing as of late the sector still shows strong gains.


Walmart and Target plan to begin offering deals and price matching offers earlier this year to keep up with Americans pressed by soaring inflation and looking for ways to take the sting out of holiday shopping. Inflation that is hovering near four-decade highs, experts believe, could push families to get an earlier start on shopping with hopes of avoiding even higher prices later.


North Dakota’s eight commercial service airports posted a total of 85,167 airline passenger boardings during the month of August, 2022. This is a 3% increase from the 82,167 boardings that the state experienced in August, 2021.  It is also approximately 16% below August 2019’s pre-pandemic passenger counts of 101,784.  The Grand Forks Airport posted 4,220 boardings.  A runway intersection reconstruction closed the GFK to commercial travel from August 21 – September 2nd.


Tesla is recalling nearly 1.1 million vehicles in the U.S. because the windows can pinch a person’s fingers when being rolled up. Tesla says in documents that the automatic window reversal system may not react correctly after detecting an obstruction. Tesla says an online software update will fix the problem.


Hertz plans to order up to 175,000 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac and BrightDrop electric vehicles from General Motors over the next five years. The deal includes electric vehicle deliveries through 2027 and will span a variety of vehicles such as SUVs, pickups and luxury automobiles.


It used to be that organic crops were an oddity, destined for health food stores or maybe a few farmers markets. But over the decades, something unexpected happened — demand for organics started increasing so fast that it began outstripping the supply produced.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture has committed up to $300 million to recruit and help more farmers to make the switch.


The Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation’s Greater Grand Forks: Way Cooler Than You Think! website ( has won an award.  It was featured as a best practice in economic development. GFiscooler.comreceived the gold award for Special Purpose Websites for the 2022 by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).


UND will use Homecoming week for an official ribbon cutting on the new Nistler College of Business & Public Administration building. The $70 million center – funded largely through private donations – welcomed its first students to classes last month.  The event is scheduled for September 30th (11:00 a.m.).

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