Fargo, North Dakota Has What You Need -- Jobs

Fargo, North Dakota, may be having the last laugh. The 1996 black comedy "Fargo" brought the expression "Yah, you betcha," into popular joke vernacular. But there was some sobering Census data just released about the city we've so enjoyed poking fun of.

Fargo grew by about 15,000 people to a record high of 105,549 residents, says the Census Bureau. And more people means -- please sit down for your own safety -- a housing boom. The estimated median house or condo price in 2009 was $147,400. In 2000, it was $94,000.To help you keep this in perspective, North Dakota only has about 672,000 people in it and one in six of them live in Fargo. But where the state really takes on rock star status is in its solid economy. Its unemployment rate hasn't gotten above 5% since 1987 -- the lowest in the country -- and the state's per capita income rose over the past decade more than any other state's. According to the Census, North Dakota has just capped off a decade of strong economic growth and seen a dramatic population hike in its biggest cities.

What's putting North Dakota on the economic map? An oil boom has created a windfall and the state actually has a $1 billion budget surplus. Its agriculture is profitable; the state is a top exporter of wheat and we won't mention those nice subsidies. And the state has even added manufacturing jobs over the past decade. Often when factories closed elsewhere, the production was moved to North Dakota. North Dakota actually holds jobs fairs in other states trying to recruit new workers.

Before you pack up the U-Haul, know that the average January low temperature is four degrees below zero.

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