Applications for unemployment benefits inched down this past week as the total number of Americans collecting aid fell to its lowest level in more than 50 years. Jobless claims fell by 2,000 to 184,000 last week, the Labor Department said Thursday. About 1.42 million Americans were collecting traditional unemployment benefits in the week of April 9, the fewest since February 21, 1970.
A run-up in mortgage rates in recent weeks is threatening to pump the brakes on the housing market as the increased borrowing costs reduce would-be buyers’ purchasing power. The average weekly rate on the benchmark 30-year mortgage has risen swiftly since the first week of this year, when it stood at 3.2%. This week it rose to 5.11%, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac.
The North Dakota Department of Commerce says top officials from the cryptocurrency company Bitzero visited North Dakota to evaluate potential Bitcoin mining investment opportunities. The team met with Gov. Doug Burgum, U.S. Sen. John Hoeven and other officials. The state’s natural energy resources and current assets prompted the visit from the cryptocurrency company which anticipates an investment of up to $3 billion, with an established location set-up beginning within the next three to four months.
U.S. airlines say they have hit a turning point: After a lousy first quarter, they expect to be profitable as Americans return to travel in the biggest numbers since the start of the pandemic. American Airlines is the latest carrier to give a rosy outlook for the rest of 2022. The upbeat view echoed similar comments from Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, which both predicted in recent days that they will earn full-year profits despite big losses in the first quarter.
North Dakota’s eight commercial service airports posted a total of 97,561 airline passenger boardings during the month of March which is a 35% increase in passengers from March 2021. The month was also the state’s highest level for passenger traffic during the last two years. The GFK had 10,803 passengers go through the gates in March – the highest tally for the month since 2019. Year-to-date boardings in Grand Forks are up 67% compared to one year ago.
Grand Forks County reported an unemployment rate of 2.7% in March. That’s up slightly from the 2.5% rate in February. A total of 1,020 people were in search of work last month. The county sports a labor force of 37,773.
Minnesota lost 417,600 jobs from February through April 2020 and has since gained 315,900 jobs as of March 2022, or 76% of the jobs lost on a seasonally adjusted basis. The private sector has regained 80% of the jobs lost.
American Express’ first-quarter profits fell roughly 6% from a year earlier, but the company saw a 30% jump in spending on its namesake cards in the quarter as its cardmembers returned to their habits of shopping, traveling and dining. The company posted a profit of $2.1 billion, or $2.73 a share, down from $2.24 billion, or $2.74 a share, a year earlier.
North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread is urging delivery drivers to review their auto insurance policy. Delivery drivers who work for companies such as DoorDash, Uber Eats, Instacart or Grubhub are urged to review their respective company’s policies regarding insurance coverage. In most cases, a driver’s common auto insurance policy will not cover accident claims that occur while on a delivery.
Ford is recalling more than 650,000 pickup trucks and big SUVs in the U.S. because the windshield wipers can break and fail. The recall covers certain F-150 pickups, and Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs from the 2020 and 2021 model years. Also included are F-250, 350, 450 and 550 trucks from 2020 through 2022. Dealers will replace both front windshield wiper arms. Owners will be notified by letter starting May 23.
The North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC) will hold a public hearing on Thursday, May 5, regarding a proposal to construct a crude oil pipeline in McKenzie and Golden Valley Counties. Bridger Pipeline LLC is requesting a siting permit for approximately 80 miles of 16-inch crude oil transmission pipeline. The estimated capacity of the pipeline is 105,000 barrels per day, with the ability to increase the capacity to 250,000 barrels per day. Estimated cost of the North Dakota portion of the project is $61 million.
The North Dakota State Hospital in Jamestown has received a three-year accreditation from The Joint Commission for its hospital and behavioral health care and human services programs following an on-site survey review in late March. The hospital has been continuously accredited since 1956 by The Joint Commission.
The North Dakota Department of Commerce Tourism and Marketing Division in partnership with More Than Just Parks will be releasing a short new film along with promotional content pieces promoting Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The release is in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of Theodore Roosevelt National Park’s Memorial Park designation on April 25. The short film is now available and can be viewed at https://belegendary.link/TRNP.