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Employers Offer Better Wages and Benefits

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Despite rising expenses, the Census Bureau indicates that North Dakota households are financially better off than they were two years ago. The median household income in the state is going up, and that's forcing employers to offer more competitive wages and benefits to job seekers.

Drive through nearly any North Dakota city and you'll see help wanted signs. And for the Seeds of Hope Thrift Store, hiring at a time when employees want higher wages is not easy.

"I think our issues as a non-profit is just the competitive wage in the state. Us not being able to compete with that I think is our main concern right now," says Lisa Terses.

New data released from the U.S. Census Bureau shows North Dakota's median household income is up more than $8,000 from 2011. It's now $53,500.85 dollars, and that's not just in energy-related work.

"If you look beyond that, all industries posted wage increases between 2011 and 2012," says Michael Ziesch.

But the problem across North Dakota is there are more jobs than available employees.

"For the most current info we have available, which would be August 2013, there would've been nearly 22,000 open and available positions in the state and you can contrast that with about 13,000 resumes posted by job seekers, so it is a job seekers' market," says Ziesch.

And those job seekers are looking for careers with higher wages, forcing businesses to bring new tricks to the old game of hiring.

"So there you get to see the difference of shift differential, bonuses, certain creative pay that businesses in North Dakota are now utilizing," says Ziesch.

And for a company with fixed wages, like Seeds of Hope, that creativity has to come in the form of showing off other rewards.

"We just really try to highlight our benefits that we have here, you know working for such a great cause you do make a difference when you work here raising money for women and children from domestic violence and sexual assault," says Terses.

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