BISMARCK, N.D., Oct. 9 (UPI) -- North Dakota's economy is thriving because of the emphasis on diversity that extends beyond the oil and gas sector, the state's governor said.
"North Dakota's economic growth stems from nearly every business sector, with no single industry telling the whole story of our state's progress," Gov. Jack Dalrymple said in a statement.
North Dakota is the No. 2 oil producer in the United States, producing about 1.2 million barrels per day in July, the last full month for which data are available. That's down about 1.6 percent from the all-time high reported in December.
Dalrymple touted overall prospects in the state, however, by noting the state has created 123,000 new jobs since 2004, a 36.6 percent gain, and personal income has increased by more than 40 percent.
In the five years ending in 2014, average per capita personal income increased nearly 30 percent to $55,802.
"We have worked hard to diversify our economy and grow our targeted business sectors, while capitalizing on emerging technologies and industries," the governor said.
Gross domestic product in North Dakota increased 6.3 percent last year, beating out all other U.S. states.
State data show 68 rigs actively engaged in exploration and production as of Friday, down 64 percent from this date in 2014. Rig activity serves as a barometer for the health of an energy industry strained by low crude oil prices.
Federal data published Thursday show initial claims of unemployment in North Dakota for the week ending Oct. 3 up 65 percent to 598.