Need a job? Head to North Dakota

by Debt Destroyer on October 18, 2009

A while back The Happy Rock wrote a post called “40 acres and a mule: free land still available in the US.” It describes how in Kansas and North Dakota there are some programs that still give land away, much like the old homestead days.

Normally you won’t hear me say too many good things about North Dakota. As a resident of South Dakota, I’m hard pressed to name anything good coming out of North Dakota besides Hwy 281(I stole that line from Tom Brokaw (former South Dakotan)).

But I feel I must tread carefully.  After all I don’t want to upset any of the North Dakotans who can actually read, so I’ll quit poking fun of them before it’s too late.

It pains me to say this, but North Dakota has a lot going for it.

Their economy is doing great.  They have a budget surplus and an unemployment rate under 5%.

I first remember seeing this back in June on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brian:

Then in August I heard this report on the NPR show Marketplace.

And then just the other day this was on Fox News (so it must be true):

They must be up to something up there, because I see this commercial on my TV almost every night:

So there you have it, if you need a job, move to North Dakota and you’ll be “whistling while you work” in no time.

Until next time,


{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com October 18, 2009 at 7:13 pm

At least I know where I can head to if Dallas doesn’t pan out for me.

I just need to get my foot into the United States first (am a Canadian), and then I am golden!


Ed October 19, 2009 at 11:04 am

All the States that were not effected by the housing bubble are still doing good. ND & TX among others. While, States like CA, AZ, NJ, NY are suffering. Here in Joyzee our unemployment rate is 9.8% just a little higher than the National unemployment rate.


brainy October 19, 2009 at 12:11 pm

You know, my site routinely has visitors from 60 some odd countries, all of the US territories, and 49 of the States. Guess which one is missing?

Anyway, feel free to bash your neighbor to the North on my site — they’ll never see it. 😉


Debt Destroyer October 19, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Thanks for the comments.

@ Ed – SD hasn’t been effected by the housing bubble and our unemployment rate is around 5%, so you’d think we’d be doing great. But we don’t have a state budget surplus like ND has, so we’ll be in a pickle unless things turn around quick.

Come on everybody, go visit Mt. Rushmore!!!

@ brainy – Maybe avoiding your site is yet another sign that ND has their ducks in a row :)

Your comment reminded me of the one thing that ND is definitely better then us at, and that is hockey. They have one of the better college programs in the country and I don’t even think we’ve progressed out of the club level yet.


The Happy Rock October 19, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Does North Dakota have internet? Maybe that is the problem. I guess they do, since THR has had 24 hits in the last two months. Maybe we can chalk that up to iPhones though, because I know that at least have cell phones. j/k

I have driven through ND and stopped to see Rushmore, but that is about as much contact as I have had.


Debt Destroyer October 19, 2009 at 7:22 pm

@ FB – If your Canadian, you’re already really close to ND :)

@ The Happy Rock – Actually I’m not sure there are too many iphones in the Dakotas yet. I know when they were first launched we were in the no-go zone. Although I hear this is ending soon and we’ll be able to join the 21st century.


Czech Traveler October 20, 2009 at 2:38 pm

I have also heard that living in North Dakota is much less expensive than in other states of the USA. Is it true?


Joseph Miller October 20, 2009 at 4:53 pm

What are the industries that are developing in North Dakota? It may have an abundance of jobs but if they are all in the industrial or agricultural industries they still may not be desirable.


Debt Destroyer October 21, 2009 at 12:22 pm

@ Czech Traveler – That depends on what state you’re talking about. Here’s a cost of living calculator to help figure that stuff out:


Here is how a $45,000 salary in Sacramento CA would look like in Fargo, ND:

Comparable salary in
Fargo-Moorhead, ND-MN
If you move from Sacramento, CA to Fargo-Moorhead, ND-MN….
Groceries will cost: 17%less
Housing will cost: 43%less
Utilities will cost: 1%less
Transportation will cost: 15%less
Healthcare will cost: 9%less

@ Joseph Miller – I’m guessing they have a wide variety of jobs available, but one that may surprise people is oil.



North Dakota October 22, 2009 at 5:28 pm


Thank you so much for referring others to our great state. Yes, it is truly underestimated by many, but those that come, wonder when they are going to come back.


Debt Destroyer October 23, 2009 at 3:21 pm

@ North Dakota – Hey no problem, that what neighbors are for :)


Anderson December 2, 2010 at 11:26 pm

Sounds wonderful, we are planning to move to the MW about april or may, i have work now but i am having to work for a crook, which upsets me dearly, i am not a person who takes advantage of another, but when boss is in the used car business, trying to sell junk to customers, i do all i can to try to repair what is wrong with the cars, as i am their head mechanic, but my boss has his limits to how much i can fix to get it sold, so my hands are tighed & i do not agree with, so when we can get an RV arranged or traded for , we will be on our way very shortly, i am a jack of all trades, with own tools, ready to get to work, bringing all my tools with me, as i will be excited to start a new job, where the work i do will count for something, besides a paycheck. we are renting a house & all my income is going into the bills we have here, so i am excited about a move where we can get a house of our own, even if i have to build it myself, stud by stud, i can do it, among a few other things, i can do electrical, plumbing, welding, carpentry, mechanic, otr driver, etc. with all my own tools. can anybody give us some help with work or housing or property we can park temporarly a camper or rv preferably, so wen can either get us a house or get started on building 1, hoooora, her we come very soon.
tommy & melissa ( lisa ) anderson & 3 pomeranians
rascal, ittybitty & midnight ( little man ) which we adore very much as our kids are grown & out on their own


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