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Dalrymple Highlights State's Economic Strength, Opportunities
Post Date: Apr 06 2016

By ND Governor's Office
Gov. Jack Dalrymple kicked off the first annual Demographics Conference in Bismarck today by highlighting North Dakota’s economic strength and how the state’s diversified economy is helping to weather fluctuations in the energy and agriculture industries.
The focus of the conference was to help participants understand important socio-economic and demographic trends in North Dakota and how those trends impact citizens, businesses and communities. The inaugural event was a collaborative effort between the North Dakota Department of Commerce, the North Dakota Compass at North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota Department of Economics, and was held at the
National Energy Center of Excellence on the Bismarck State College campus.
“For more than a decade, we have worked hard and strategically to diversify our economy and expand our target industries and those efforts have produced real results with increased economic production, job growth and rising wages,” said Dalrymple. “Despite a downturn in commodity prices impacting the state’s two leading industries, our diversified economic base is strong and growing, with many exciting advancements occurring in the technology, manufacturing and aviation sectors. Our economy is strong and North Dakota continues to be a great place to do business.”
During his remarks, Dalrymple stated that North Dakota’s continued economic growth stems from nearly every business sector across the state and that no single industry tells the whole story of North Dakota’s progress. He highlighted the state’s economic strength relative to production growth, unemployment, job openings and per capita personal income.
  • The state’s Gross Domestic Product through 3rd quarter 2015 is still performing well above the 2012-2013 levels.
  • North Dakota continues to have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation at just 2.9 percent for February 2016.
  • As of March 2016, North Dakota has more than 15,000 job openings across the state.
  • North Dakota has one of the fastest growing populations in the nation. Up until 2008, North Dakota was losing population. In 2013 alone, more than 18,000 new residents moved to the state. Between 2010 and 2014, North Dakota’s overall population increased 9.9 percent.
  • North Dakota continues to be one of only a few states whose populations are getting younger, with 9.6 percent of residents between the age of 20 and 24 compared to 7.1 percent nationally.
  • Since the fourth quarter of 2007, North Dakota’s personal income has led the nation in growth at an annual rate of 5.1 percent. In 2015, even with the economic slowdown, the state still ranked in the top 10 for per capita personal income at number 9 in the nation. 
The Governor also highlighted some of the advancements and opportunities emerging from North Dakota’s target industries and cited examples of businesses throughout the state that are reporting job and revenue growth.
  • North Dakota is well positioned in the energy industry as Bakken Shale is shown as the best cost value oil in the U.S. oil plays. Efficiencies in the industry are lowering the break-even point for companies to make a profit.
  • The state’s technology-based business sector is growing and diversifying, and leading the nation in innovative advances. The state’s technology industry payroll has grown to more than $1 billion a year, providing an average wage of $79,500. Companies like Microsoft and Amazon have long called North Dakota home. They, together with other high-tech companies like NISC, Intelligent Insites and Appareo, have shown growth in the state and continue to expand.
  • North Dakota is home to a growing cluster of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) research, business and military interests. Partnerships among private businesses, universities and state government strengthen North Dakota’s position as a leader in UAS. The state is one of six Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) UAS test sites conducting research to determine how to best integrate UAS into the national airspace. The FAA certified the Northern Plains UAS Test Site as the first site ready for operations in April 2014. Northrop Grumman and General Atomics — world leaders in aviation and aerospace — are investing millions in North Dakota.
  • Manufacturers in North Dakota account for 5.8 percent of the total output in the state and employ 5.6 percent of the workforce. Total output from manufacturing was $3.25 billion in 2014. In addition, there were 25,900 manufacturing employees in North Dakota in 2015, with an average annual compensation of $55,754.
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