There may be a recession going on, but you wouldn’t know it by visiting North Dakota, the New York Times reports. The state budget boasts a hefty $1.2 billion surplus, auto sales are up 27%, and unemployment is just 3.4%. In fact, the sparsely populated state has 13,000 jobs it’s struggling to fill. Credit the boom in part to a surge in oil production, a good year for farmers, and a culture that frowns on excess.
“Our problem is that everybody thinks that it’s a cold, miserable place to live,” said the state’s Senate majority leader. Even now the state’s prosperity is inconspicuous. Residents, in classic Midwestern style, are preparing for the worst, which could come soon. One Moody’s economist calls North Dakota an “outlier,” sure to be hurt by declining national demand. “It’s not going to hold,” he concludes.