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Cooperatives are a vital component of the North Dakota economy. Owned by their customers or by privately-held firms, cooperatives provide a variety of goods and services to North Dakota. Based on data provided by the North Dakota Secretary of State, 332 businesses operating in North Dakota identified themselves as cooperatives in 2010; 256 are headquartered in the state. The economic contribution of the North Dakota cooperatives reaches beyond the local communities where they are headquartered. In 2010, the operations of electric, credit, farm supply and farm output marketing, and telecommunication cooperatives headquartered in North Dakota generated $3.5 billion of gross business sales. These sales led to secondary business volume of $2.1 billion. Hence, these 256 cooperatives made a total economic contribution to the state economy of $5.6 billion. The economic contribution of cooperatives is also comprised of jobs, labor income and tax revenue to the state. The 256 cooperatives featured in this study employ approximately 8,000 people on a full time basis in North Dakota. These employees were paid approximately $1.1 billion in wages and benefits. After the cost of goods sold, the principal expenditure of the cooperatives in North Dakota is employee compensation. The gross sales generated by the cooperatives, and the expenses generated by cooperative employee household spending generated an additional 17,000 full time jobs and $0.6 billion in wages and benefits in the North Dakota economy. Together, these activities generated a corporate, payroll and personal taxes contribution of $342 million to the state.


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