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Business Climate

There is no doubt about it: Business is booming in Fargo Moorhead West Fargo, with an incredibly low unemployment rate and abundant job opportunities.

Labor Statistics

North Dakota
Local, State & National MarketEmployedUnemployment Rate
Fargo Moorhead MSA 134,4612.2
Minnesota 2,881,593 3.4
North Dakota 416,6832.4
United States 151,977,000 4.8
Source: Job Service of ND, Minn. DEED, September 2016

Businesses and Employees by Industry

Industry Description# of Businesses# of Employees
Forestry, fishing, hunting & agriculture support 14 44
Mining 4 11
Construction 866 7,643
Manufacturing 237 9,617
Wholesale trade 464 7,977
Retail Trade 826 15,908
Transportation & warehousing 316 4,109
Information 98 3,068
Finance and insurance 472 8,364
Real estate & rental & leasing 348 1,763
Professional, scientific & technical services 553 6,294
Management of companies & enterprises 54 2,997
Admin, support, waste mgt, remediation services 340 6,124
Educational services 40 3,379
Health care & social assistance 639 21,278
Arts, entertainment & recreation 25 2,091
Accommodation & food services 486 12,188
Other services (except public administration) 662 4,443
Unclassified establishments 7 3
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015


The metro is big on entrepreneurship. A young and innovative workforce has led to a boom in new startups in recent years, and is only picking up steam. Add in organizations like Emerging Prairie, the Greater Fargo-Moorhead Economic Development Corporation and the Small Business Association encouraging entrepreneurial efforts, and much of the activity is more grass-roots.

Efforts like 1 Million Cups offers opportunities for entrepreneurs to gather, pitch ideas and collect feedback, and the Technology Incubator at the NDSU Research and Technology Park continues to nurture startup businesses. There are even several new programs to encourage young girls to get involved in STEM.

International Business

In 2005, the city of Fargo received designation as a foreign trade zone, an area that is designated for duty-free entry of goods. A foreign trade zone encourages more commercial activity in the region, allowing manufacturers to produce products in the area without having to pay U.S. customs  duties.

Minnesota has one of the most generous foreign royalty deductions in the country. Minnesota corporations that license technology to foreign corporations can deduct 80% of the foreign royalties they receive if the payer is a member of the unitary group.

Commercial Real Estate

Classes Downtown Suburban
Class A $20.00 per square foot $23.00 per square foot
Class B $14 per square foot $18.00 per square foot

Industrial Space
Sale Prices $38-95/sf
Net Lease Rates $3.20 to $5.90/sf
Source: Konrad Olson Commercial Real Estate, 2016.

Looking For a Job?

Check with these great resources as well as the Employment Services category in the Business Directory to find a great job.

Better Fargo Jobs
Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation
Job Service North Dakota
Jobs HQ
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
North Dakota Oil Jobs

Space For Your Business

Whether your organization is hosting a large conference, a department meeting, or a fund-raiser, several options in the community (and nearby) offer great spaces to inspire ideas and collaboration.

Here is a helpful list of resources to get you started on the journey to finding the perfect space for your business. We’ve broken it down by size categories so you can easily see which facilities could best accommodate your event. You can also check out the member businesses under the following categories: Event - Conference Center and Event & Meeting Planning in the Business Directory.

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