Saturday, December 6, 2008

North Dakota flourishing in spite of national recession

Read Monica Davey's report in the New York Times here. An excerpt follows:
As the rest of the nation sinks into a 12th grim month of recession, this state, at least up until now, has been quietly reveling in a picture so different that it might well be on another planet.

The number of new cars sold statewide was 27 percent higher this year than last, state records through November showed. North Dakota’s foreclosure rate was minuscule, among the lowest in the country. Many homes have still been gaining modestly in value, and, here in Fargo, construction workers can be found on any given day hammering away on a new downtown condominium complex, complete with a $540,000 penthouse (still unsold, but with a steady stream of lookers).

Davey reports on many other indicators, including the state's 3.4% unemployment rate. Indeed, the state currently has about 13,000 job openings. With that many unfilled jobs, North Dakota's population (642,200 in the 2000 census) may soon be on the rise.

Davey attributes North Dakota's "cheery circumstances" to an array of factors including a rise in the state's oil production and a good year for farmers, as well as a "conservative, steady, never-fancy culture that has nurtured fewer" booms and slumps.

Read another post here, from December 2007, about the state's boom.

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