Ask anyone to list the state's economic difficulties and they will likely mention two phenomena: youth exodus and brain drain. In recent years many young North Dakotans and college graduates have been leaving for better jobs in other environs.
Development officials are constantly proposing methods to deal with the problem, but a new study by North Dakota State University indicates they may be able to relax. The five-year employment survey of NDSU graduates who earned degrees from December 2002 through August 2003 indicates that more are finding jobs at home.
The survey of 1,305 graduates showed that of those working last year, 52 percent were working in North Dakota. A similar study from 1999 indicated only 42 percent stayed in the state.
The survey also found that among NDSU graduates from Minnesota, 32 percent stayed in North Dakota; the 1999 figure was 24 percent. Officials cited several reasons for the change, including efforts by NDSU to be more responsive to the needs of employers.