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### Abstract

North Dakota has experienced substantial growth in employment during the 1990s, with much of that growth occurring in the manufacturing and exported services sectors. (Exported services include such activities as telemarketing and data processing where the major market for the service is outside North Dakota.) This study presents the employment and demographic characteristics of employees at new and expanding manufacturing and exported services firms in North Dakota. The workers were asked to rate their opportunity for advancement, their opportunity for technical/skills training, and the type of training that would best enable their advancement with their current employer. The workers also described their current housing and their plans to look for different housing. Data came from a survey of workers at 12 new or expanding manufacturing and exported services firms, located in both rural and urban areas across North Dakota. Completed surveys were received from 324 workers, or about 27 percent of the total employees of the 12 firms. About 83 percent of the respondents reported that they were paid an hourly wage, while 17 percent received an annual salary. The overall average hourly wage was $9.92, with manufacturing workers earning an average of$8.70 and exported services workers earning an average of \$10.26. Persons between 20 and 40 years old made up more than two-thirds of the workers responding to the survey. Male workers made up 56 percent of the respondents employed by manufacturers but only 41 percent for exported services firms. About 21 percent of the workers, overall, had moved to their present community when they took their current job, while the remaining 79 percent had been residing in the community prior to taking their current job. Almost 62 percent of the respondents owned their current home while 36 percent rented. The respondents most commonly lived in single-family houses (63%), followed by apartments or duplexes (28%), and mobile homes (8%). More than 80 percent of the respondents rated their opportunities for technical/skills training at their current place of employment as good to excellent. Training in computers and computer software was the type of training most often indicated by respondents as being helpful to their advancement at their present place of work. Almost two-thirds of respondents said they would be definitely interested in obtaining training while another 28 percent would be somewhat interested. Less than one person in ten said they were not at all interested in further training.