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North Dakota shines in national economic survey

FARGO -- Another national study has been released and once more North Dakota is looking good. This time it's the the U.S.

FARGO - Another national study has been released and once more North Dakota is looking good.

This time it's the the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's annual "Enterprising States: States Innovate" study, which identifies the top 10 states in six major areas: economic performance, transportation and trade, innovation and entrepreneurship, business climate, talent pipeline and high-tech performance.

North Dakota sits at the top of the study in the categories of overall economic performance and talent pipeline, while Utah ranked the most consistently across all identified policy areas and was the only state to rank in the top 10 in five of all six major categories.

The report is based largely on data from 2014 or newer.

In the category of overall economic performance, North Dakota ranked No. 1, or close to it, in almost all of the underlying metrics, including long- and short-term job growth; gross state product growth; per capita income growth and adjusted median family income.

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Also, under the category of innovation and entrepreneurship, North Dakota was No. 7 in new business birth rate.

"It's really quite remarkable what has happened in the state," said Mark Schill, lead analyst and co-author of the study.

Schill said job growth in the state was improving even before the energy sector took off about six years ago and "the boom just threw fuel on the fire."

In the area of talent pipeline - which measures things like production of college degrees and college affordability - the study ranked North Dakota third in the nation for number of people ages 25-44 that have a two-year degree or higher.

"For all the talk of smart people leaving rural states, it (North Dakota) is one of the most educated in the country," said Schill, adding that more than 50 percent of the state's residents have at least a two-year degree.

The study was conducted for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce by a company called Praxis Strategy Group, which has offices in Fargo and Grand Forks, as well as in Sherman Oaks, Calif.

Minnesota, too, fared well in the survey, ranking third in talent pipeline.

It also ranked high in education attainment.

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To see the entire survey, visit www.uschamberfoundation.org/enterprisingstates .

N.D. rankings

North Dakota ranks among the top 10 states in three of six major categories identified in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's annual Enterprising States study:

1st, overall economic productivity

1st, talent pipeline

6th, business climate

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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