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Forum News Service, Published January 15 2014

Income growth in Grand Forks among nation's best

GRAND FORKS - Personal income growth in the Grand Forks area was among the largest in the nation in 2012.

A November report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis at the U.S. Department of Commerce shows total personal income grew by 10.5 percent from 2011 to 2012 in the Grand Forks metropolitan statistical area. That’s good enough for third place among the country’s 381 MSAs.

The MSA with the biggest growth spurt was Midland, Texas, which saw personal income grow by 12.1 percent between 2011 and 2012. Nationally, that rate was 4.2 percent.

Barry Wilfahrt, president and CEO of the Chamber of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, attributed the growth to a strong agricultural sector locally over the past five to seven years and the influence of the oil boom in western North Dakota.

Bismarck and Fargo, the state’s other two MSAs, also saw some of the highest personal income growth rates in the nation at 10.1 percent and 8.3 percent, respectively. In the nonmetropolitan region of North Dakota, total personal income grew by 26.3 percent.