Swenson on Dakota Access Pipeline, rural labor

David SwensonDavid Swenson, associate scientist, talked with Kevin Hardy, Des Moines Register, on the short-term job and income impacts of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Swenson assured him that though impacts were overstated by the consultants working for the firm, the short-term economic gains to Iowa operating engineers, welders, and other skilled trades persons would be substantial.

Swenson also spoke with Alison Moodie, The Guardian. He answered questions about how the new law allowing farm workers to receive overtime pay like regular, nonfarm workers would affect a state like Iowa. As the vast majority of Iowa’s farm workers are regular paid employees and a very small fraction of workers are involved in typical migrant farm labor (vegetables, melons, fruits, and nuts), a law like that would not have a meaningful impact in Iowa. Rural labor is tight, and Iowa farm workers are paid close to the average for all nonfarm and nonmetro workers.

Ed Tibbets, Quad City Times, on reasons for boosts in median household incomes in the Quad Cities. Likely reasons were better average wages and salaries among earners and more hours being worked per household.

Katie McKeller, Deseret News, Salt Lake City. She called for comments on the fact that New Mexico prevailed on attracting a new Facebook data center. Swenson noted that the bidding city in Utah actually dodged a bullet and came out a winner as the public costs of the facility greatly exceeded any regional economic gains.

Rod Arquette, KNRS Radio, Salt Lake City, UT. Radio interview on the results of Facebook choosing Los Lunas, NM, over a suburb of Salt Lake City for its new data center.