Despite having one of the highest “exports per capita” and “lowest unemployment” rates in the nation, North Dakota ranks in the lower half of states for its economy.
The study was conducted by Wallethub, and it took into account economic activity and health, and innovation potential.
North Dakota Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger agrees that our state is lower on the totem pole for innovation. However, he says there are many other factors that actually put North Dakota ahead of other states in economic growth.
For example, the energy industry is on the rise again, following the end of the oil boom a couple of years back. He says most of our growth can be attributed to oil production in western North Dakota.
Where our economy has taken a dip, is in the agriculture industry, because of the drop in farm commodity prices.
Rauschenberger adds, “The middle part of the state and the eastern part of the state have been relatively flat, and some cities and counties have been down if you look at the last year, year and a half. And that is really tied to lower commodity prices in the agriculture industry, whether you look at wheat, soybean, corn…”
Rauschenberger says in the first quarter of 2019, North Dakota was actually the eighth fastest-growing state in the country. He says it really just depends on which study you look at and which factors the researchers choose to focus on.
Overall, he’s not at all worried about the state of our economy.