BBER Releases Montana Economic Report 2017 at Outlook Seminars

January 23, 2017

MISSOULA – For the second year running, the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana will release its Montana Economic Report, a comprehensive assessment of economic activity in Montana, during its Economic Outlook Seminar series.

The series kicks of Jan. 24 in Helena and will visit nine cities across Montana through March 16.

“Montana Economic Report 2017” will cover topics such as 2016 in review, the U.S. economic outlook, an in-depth look at the Montana economy and assessments of nine key industry sectors in Montana, including technology and innovation, farming and ranching, real estate and residential construction, energy and logistics and transportation, among others.

“We are excited to publish the ‘Montana Economic Report 2017,’ and we believe this edition is an improvement over the inaugural edition,” BBER Director Patrick Barkey said. “The segment on ‘Four Decades of Economic Anaylsis: How Has BBER Done?’ provides an interesting perspective on BBER’s body of work over the years.”

In an in-depth look at the Montana economy, the report examines how technology is remaking agriculture, the challenges and opportunities facing Montana’s national parks, and trying to solve the puzzle of creating high wage jobs in Montana.

The report will be provided to those attending an Economic Outlook Seminar, where BBER Associate Director Bryce Ward will present the keynote, “The High Wage Jobs Puzzle – Finding Montana’s Place in the New Geography of Jobs.”

The seminars cost $85, which includes a copy of the PowerPoint presentation, the “Montana Economic Report,” lunch and a one-year subscription to Montana Business Quarterly, BBER’s award-winning business journal. Continuing education credits are available. Groups of five or more can receive a discount by registering online at

The seminars run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at all locations except for Kalispell, which will be held from noon to 5 p.m. The full schedule follows:

  • Helena: Tuesday, Jan. 24, Best Western Great Northern Hotel
  • Great Falls: Wednesday, Jan. 25, Hilton Garden Inn
  • Missoula: Friday, Jan. 27, Hilton Garden Inn
  • Billings: Tuesday, Jan. 31, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
  • Bozeman: Wednesday, Feb. 1, The Commons at Baxter and Love
  • Butte: Thursday, Feb. 2, NorthWestern Energy Butte general office
  • Kalispell: Tuesday, Feb. 7, Hilton Garden Inn
  • Sidney: Tuesday, March 14, USDA/Agricultural Resources Services office
  • Miles City: Wednesday, March 15, Sleep Inn & Suites

BBER is the main research unit of the School of Business Administration at UM. Established in 1948, its mission is to inform Montanans about the economic climate in which they live and work. BBER researchers engage in a wide range of applied research projects that deal with different aspects of the state economy, including survey research, economic analysis, health care research, forecasting, wood products research and energy research.

For more information or to register, visit BBER online at or call 406-243-5113.


Contact: Patrick Barkey, director, UM Bureau of Business and Economic Research, 406-243-5113,