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U.S. wholesale prices rose 0.3% in August, just half the July gain, as food and energy prices decline. The moderation in wholesale prices in August was an indication that inflation is remaining at low levels which will allow the Federal Reserve to keep its benchmark policy rate low for the foreseeable future in an effort to give a boost to an economy hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Average rates on long-term mortgages fell this week amid signs that the halting economic recovery slowed over the summer. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year home loan declined to 2.86% from 2.93% last week. By contrast, the rate averaged 3.56% a year ago.

Hyundai is telling some SUV owners to park outdoors because an electrical short in a computer can cause vehicles to catch fire. The Korean automaker is recalling about 180,000 Tucson SUVs in the U.S. from 2019 through 2021 to fix the problem. Hyundai will notify owners around Oct. 30.

Since March 16 there have been 941,468 unemployment insurance applicants in Minnesota. Polk County in northwest Minnesota has processed 3,638 claims – or 21.5% of the annual labor force. Minnesota’s latest jobless rate is 7.7%.

The City of Grand Forks has issued 3,156 permits through August of 2020. The Inspections Department says 1,187 were building permits. The total value exceeds $179 million dollars.

The University of North Dakota will launch a series of listening sessions next week as the search for the next Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs heats up. Dr. Beth Bjerke of the Odegard School and Dr. David Flynn of the Nistler College will serve as co-chairs of the search committee. The listening sessions on September 15…16…17 will be held via Zoom.

The Northern Plains UAS Test Site in Grand Forks has selected Volansi’s VOLY C10 for Site Acceptance Testing and use-case development for North Dakota’s statewide beyond visual line of sight network. The aircraft will test network components…safety…and reliability to help set standards for aircraft utilizing the network.

Federal regulators have cited Smithfield Foods for failing to protect employees from exposure to the coronavirus at the company's Sioux Falls plant, an early hot spot for virus infections that hobbled American meatpacking plants. Smithfield Foods plans to contest the citation and $13,494 fine.

The Labor Market Information Center has published 2019 rankings for the largest employers in North Dakota. North Dakota’s 50 largest statewide employers are ranked annually:
Rank Employer Ownership Industry
1 SANFORD HEALTH Private Hospitals
2 WAL-MART Private General Merchandise Stores
3 ALTRU HEALTH SYSTEM Private Hospitals
5 DOOSAN BOBCAT Private Machinery Manufacturing
6 UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA State Govt Educational Services
7 NORTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY State Govt Educational Services
8 TRINITY HEALTH Private Hospitals
9 BISMARCK PUBLIC SCHOOLS Local Govt Educational Services
10 ESSENTIA HEALTH Private Hospitals
Updated annually, employer rankings are based on the number of monthly payroll jobs reported to the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program.

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