There's a new geography of jobs in today's economy, and Montana is searching for ways to attract businesses that can pay high wages.

University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research Associate Director Bryce Ward recently published a report in the latest issue of the Montana Business Quarterly.

"When regional economists think about economies we first say, do people want to live there?," Ward began. "In Montana's case people want to live here, our population grows and more people move here than move away. But, wages are low and they're particularly low for college graduates, and that creates some affordability challenges and some tension for Montana's economy."

Ward said that Montana must develop more resources to attract or grow firms that can provide jobs and the resources that can attract potential workers that will become residents. He said state leaders must reach out to resident entrepreneurs and mine them for ideas on how to attract more of them.

"Collectively, we have to learn from our entrepreneurs, both those who succeed and those who fail, to see if there are boulders that regularly come up in Montana that collectively wa can say, wow, this is a common problem to businesses that are trying to succeed in this or that business, and we can try and figure out if there is some creative way that we can use public policy to try and address that problem."

For more information or to subscribe to the Montana Business Quarterly, visit BBER.