U.S. consumer confidence rose sharply for a second straight month in April, hitting the highest level in more than a year as consumer sentiment was boosted by a more rapid rollout of the vaccines and another round of support payments. The Conference Board reports that its consumer confidence index advanced to a better-than-expected 121.7 in April, up from 109.0 in March.
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits dropped by 13,000 last week to 553,000, the lowest level since the pandemic hit last March and another sign the economy is recovering from the coronavirus recession.
U.S. consumer spending rose at the fastest pace in nine months while incomes soared by a record amount in March, reflecting billions of dollars in government support payments aimed at putting the country firmly on the road to recovery. The Commerce Department said reports consumer spending rose 4.2% last month, the best showing since a 6.5% spending increase in June.
Minnesota employers reported just over 127,300 job vacancies in the fourth quarter of 2020, up 14% from the second quarter of 2020 at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The figures released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). After loosening up last summer when unemployment rates spiked, DEED’s biannual Job Vacancy Survey found that the state had 1.1 unemployed people for every job vacancy in the fourth quarter of 2020, once again indicating a tight labor market.
Small businesses in the U.S. fueled demand for delivery, helping UPS post better-than-expected earnings and revenue for the first quarter of the year. UPS is one of the few companies that benefited from the pandemic as demand for delivery rose as more people stayed home and shopped online. UPS said daily volume jumped more than 14% in the first three months of the year from the same period a year ago.
Grand Forks sales tax collection topped the $2.4 million dollar mark for April. With four months in the books in 2021 the local tax is down 3.1%. The local tax has generated $8.7 million to date. On an accrued 12-month rolling basis collections are down slightly at 1.98%.
Bank of North Dakota (BND) President Eric Hardmeyer announced his retirement effective July 6, 2021. Hardmeyer has been in the role since 2000, qualifying him as the longest-serving president in the Bank’s 102-year history. A Mott, North Dakota native, he began his career in 1985 as an administrative assistant to Bank President Joseph Lamb. He went on to serve in several roles in commercial lending before succeeding John Hoeven after Hoeven was elected governor.
The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy has awarded $1.5 million to the University of North Dakota’s Energy & Environmental Research Center. The funding will support continued efforts to develop and test methods for extracting rare earth elements and critical minerals, as well as producing nonfuel carbon-based products, from lignite coal in the Williston Basin.
The longtime state veterinarian and director of the Animal Health Division of the North Dakota Department of Agriculture, Dr. Susan Keller, is retiring effective June 30, 2021. Ag Commissioner Doug Goehring said a search is now underway for Dr. Keller’s successor.
The North Dakota Industrial Commission has approved North Dakota Housing Finance Agency’s (NDHFA) planned distribution of almost $200,000 in housing rehab assistance. Helping HAND assists North Dakotans of limited means in maintaining their home. Among grant recipients is Red River Valley Community Action, Grand Forks, $20,612.
The Wheat City Whiskey Jacks will be able to sell beer at Kraft Field if the city council agrees with a staff recommendation on Monday night. The Expedition League team from Brandon (Manitoba) will be playing its home games in Grand Forks this summer due to COVID restrictions at the border. Grand Forks is slated to receive its own Expedition team in 2022. The liquor license would carry a $550 dollar fee.
Mill Road in Grand Forks is slated to get a new coat of asphalt next summer. The city will tap funding from the North Dakota DOT via the Coronavirus Relief Supplemental Act to the tune of $479,650 dollars. The stretch of road runs from Gateway Drive to North Washington Street. The money must be spent by September 30, 2024.
The bounce back for McDonald’s as restrictions were lifted across the U.S. was so strong in the first quarter that the company surpassed sales during the same period even in 2019, long before the pandemic broadsided the country. McDonald’s revenue jumped 9% to $5.1 billion for the January-March period.
Engineers at General Motors have figured out how to fix a battery problem with the Chevrolet Bolt electric hatchback that caused five of them to catch fire. The company says they developed diagnostic software to look for anomalies in the batteries of 69,000 Bolts worldwide from 2017 through 2019.
Originally Appeared On: https://knoxradio.com/2021/05/02/gf-business-news-jobs-sales-tax-beer-baseball/