North Dakota’s business climate has gained a reputation for supporting emerging businesses, entrepreneurs and expansions. The state’s growing manufacturing, technology-based businesses, agricultural and energy industries, enhanced with numerous incentives, are drawing some of the world’s most recognized companies into the state. Combined with a legendary work ethic and a highly-educated workforce, North Dakota has become a dynamic place to live, work, invest and be in business.
“We continue to see a number of industries thrive in North Dakota,” Paul Lucy, Economic Development & Finance Division Director, North Dakota Department of Commerce said. “Tech based business, advanced manufacturing, value-added energy and unmanned aircraft systems have seen continued growth. North Dakota has worked hard to diversify our economy and expand our targeted industries, and those strategies are producing real results with increased economic production, job growth and company expansion.”
North Dakota’s gross domestic product (GDP), a measure of total economic production, increased 6.3 percent in 2014 to top economic growth among all states. Over the past decade, North Dakota’s economy has averaged an annual growth rate of 6.5 percent compared to the national average of 1.4 percent. Since 2010, the state has averaged an 8.7 percent growth rate in GDP. North Dakota has led the nation in GDP growth for four of the last five years.
This top ranking proves once again that North Dakota’s continued economic growth stems from nearly every business sector and that no single industry tells the whole story of North Dakota’s progress.
Other statistics that detail the state’s economic progress include:
- North Dakota’s per capita personal income in 2014 was $54,951, an increase of $25,109 since 2004 when the per capita personal income was $29,842. This has created an environment that is attracting the nation’s best and brightest workforce to North Dakota.
- North Dakota had $5.3 billion worth of exports in 2014, an increase of $4.3 billion since 2004 when the total value of exports was $1 billion.
- Since 2004, North Dakota has created 122,800 new jobs, an increase of 36.6 percent.
- North Dakota is ranked first in growth in the number, employment and revenues of women-owned firms since 1997.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems
North Dakota is home to a growing cluster of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) research, business and military interests. North Dakota has provided more than $34 million to advance UAS research and development and is collaborating with domestic and international organizations to build this emerging industry. Along with its designation by the Federal Aviation Administration as a national UAS Test Site, North Dakota already has all the components needed to support UAS education, training, research and commercialization. Additionally, the industry enjoys broad support all the way up to the Governor’s Office and Congressional delegation.
The Grand Sky UAS Business and Aviation Park, located on the grounds of the Grand Forks Air Force Base, is under construction and will provide state-of-the-art facilities for UAS development, testing and training, sensor technology development and data analysis and management. It capitalizes on the state’s UAS test site, the expertise of regional academic institutions such as the University of North Dakota’s UAS Center of Excellence. When fully built out Grand Sky’s 1.2 million square feet of facilities are expected to accommodate private sector companies, educational institutions, government contractors and public agencies involved in the UAS sectors.
Grand Sky has secured its first anchor tenant (Northrop Grumman) and is working with numerous other aviation/aerospace companies to establish a UAS presence at Grand Sky and to utilize this first of its kind UAS business development park.
Manufacturing accounts for 10 percent of North Dakota’s GDP. North Dakota has enjoyed an expansion of manufacturing in the state since 2000. A diversified manufacturing sector that continues to see market growth, both domestically and internationally, have contributed to a healthy manufacturing economy. International companies like Doosan, Caterpillar and John Deere, to name a few, continue to establish and expand their operations in North Dakota.
Energy offers some of the greatest growth opportunities for North Dakota. Energy is one of the state’s largest industries. Research and development of new technologies in the oil and gas industry has propelled North Dakota to be the 2nd leading producer of oil in the U.S., which has led to the creation of a number of new oil and gas processing facilities in the state. The nation’s first new oil refinery built in 30 years, Dakota Prairie Refinery, began operations in North Dakota in May, 2015. Multiple other value-added energy projects are under development in North Dakota.
The agriculture industry is the largest contributor to North Dakota’s economy. The state has long been recognized as one of the leading contributors of agricultural commodities and products that have built the great plains of the U.S. to be known as the “Breadbasket of the World.” North Dakota leads the nation as the #1 producer of 12 different agricultural commodities. Industry giants like Cargill, ADM, Simplot and Monsanto have all undertaken North Dakota expansion projects recently.
As one of our five targeted industries for growth, North Dakota’s technology-based business sector is growing and diversifying. Microsoft for instance is thriving in North Dakota with the company’s second largest field campus located in Fargo. While Nokia’s operations in North Dakota produces mapping technology used around the world.
For more information, please contact The North Dakota Department of Commerce at 701-328-5300 or visit their website at: www.business.nd.gov.
- 10 reasons to invest and do business in North Dakota
- North Dakota was named the best run state in the nation for the 3rd year in a row. 24/7 Wall Street, 2014
- North Dakota ranks #2 in the nation in state competitiveness. Beacon Hill Competitiveness Index, 2014
- North Dakota ranks #1 in a national entrepreneurship index. University of Nebraska, Bureau of Business Research, 2014
- Forbes Magazine’s 2014 Best States for Business and Careers recognizes North Dakota as the #2 state for business.
- North Dakota has a Standard & Poor’s top credit rating of ‘AAA.’
- North Dakota residents and businesses have received over $4.2 billion in cuts to individual and corporate income and property taxes since 2009. North Dakota Tax Commissioner, 2015
- North Dakota was named the nation’s #1 top overall growth performer since 2000. U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 2014
- Business Facilities ranks North Dakota #2 for economic growth potential in 2014.
- North Dakota has created the most job growth since 2009 with 28.6 percent job growth in six years. Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2015
- North Dakota’s GDP growth outpaces all other states for the fourth consecutive year. Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2014
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