Workforce, healthcare & childcare holding back North Dakota businesses

FARGO, ND (Valley News Live) — A summer 2022 business climate survey found North Dakota has a strong business climate, but some common factors are holding companies back.

More than 200 companies participated in the North Dakota Business Conditions and Climate Survey conducted by the Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth at North Dakota State University. The survey assessed the state’s regulatory and business environment to provide insight into policies that could enable improved economic performance.

The Greater North Dakota Chamber was a partner in the survey and said North Dakota scores favorably on the basis of economic performance, but often these measures don’t examine barriers to growth.

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The survey found that most North Dakota businesses believe the state has a good business climate, but they continue to be held back by an inability to attract a workforce, high health care costs and lack of access to affordable, quality child care.

Key Results

  • Businesses overwhelmingly (95 percent) agree that North Dakota has a good business climate.
  • A majority of companies indicated that North Dakota policy makers have created a supportive business environment (87 percent) and that North Dakota has adequate infrastructure for business success (83 percent).
  • Almost three-quarters of companies that operate in multiple states said North Dakota has a better regulatory environment and business climate than other states in which they operate.
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Companies highlighted a number of factors positively impacting their performance in North Dakota. The three most important factors are a right to work (53 percent), low taxes (43 percent) and a quality education (38 percent).

The most important factor holding companies back is the difficulty in attracting and retaining qualified workers (62 percent). Other factors negatively impacting business development include high healthcare costs (37 percent) and lack of access to affordable and quality child care (30 percent). Overall, concerns about labor force, health care costs and child care surfaced throughout the survey.

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“These findings can serve as a first step in identifying the barriers preventing the state from realizing its economic potential,” writes John Bitzan, author of the report and Menard Family Director of the Challey Institute. He added: “They show that the country has an excellent business climate, but also that we have to address important challenges so that companies can continue to be successful in the future.”

Information on survey participants, questions and methodology can be found HERE.

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