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Hoeven: Economy good, but needs to grow

By Dave Thompson

Bismarck, ND – North Dakota Governor John Hoeven says his administration is putting a priority on finding good paying, career type jobs.

In his annual "State of the State" speech, Hoeven said despite a national recession -- North Dakota's economy is in good shape. He says a number of states are worse off in terms of their state budgets than North Dakota.

"As many as 44 states this year will suffer revenue shortfalls and cuts in programs and services. In North Dakota, we have a modest surplus and a reserve. In fact, North Dakota is one of only six states in the nation whose revenues and spending are on target."

Hoeven says the state's unemployment rate is about half the national average rate. And he says that points to the success of economic development efforts.

But Hoeven said the state needs to remember that economic development is not just about creating jobs -- it's about creating high-paying, good quality jobs.

"Our economic development strategy is targeting specific business sectors with the greatest potential for growth and quality job creation in North Dakota. Value added agriculture, advanced manufacturing, technology-based business services, tourism and energy development. These sectors will generate high-paying jobs - career track jobs that depend on all of our remarkable resources, including our skilled and dedicated people."

Hoeven says education and technology are two of the keys to promoting the state's future health. And he says the state's future will be built on six pillars: education, economic development, agriculture, energy, technology and quality of life.