Though the oil boom brought thousands of new workers to North Dakota this century, allowing some adventurers to triple their previous salaries, most of the state's top employers don't follow the same kind of boom-and-bust cycle as that gushing industry.
Instead, the companies who have the most jobs are rooted in health systems and education, industries that are stable and will continue to be needed for as long as people live in North Dakota.
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Here are the top five employers in North Dakota:
1. North Dakota University System:
The state's University System, which includes the University of North Dakota and North Dakota State University, employs more than 17,500 people statewide. That includes more than 4,000 faculty members and 5,700 students in campus jobs.
2. Sanford Health/Altru Health Systems:
These two systems combine to employ about 18,000 people, according to Career One Stop
and they continue to hire more workers. In late 2014, Altru gave its nurses an across-the-board raise, offered bonuses for those who referred other nurses to jobs, and still had 70 open jobs to fill, according to Prairie Business.
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3. Grand Forks Air Base:
The base employs about 3,000 people, according to Career One Stop, but it could be hiring more employees in the future because a new 117-acre park will be built on the base in order for drones to be researched and developed. "This is unique. This is a one of a kind technology park in the country. And that means unique opportunities," North Dakota U.S. Sen. John Hoeven told Valley News Live in February 2015.
One of the world's leaders in manufacturing and engineering equipment, Bobcat is based in West Fargo and owns other facilities in Bismarck, Gwinner, and Wahpeton. In 2014, the company invested $28 million to build a new "acceleration center" that would help attract the graduating talent from North Dakota's universities, according to The Bismarck Tribune.
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