The lignite industry is North Dakota’s fifth largest industry behind agriculture, oil and gas, tourism and manufacturing.
The lignite industry (coal mining and coal conversion) accounted for $5.7 billion of the state's economic base in 2017.

The lignite industry directly employs 3,820 people in North Dakota.
There are 10,200 indirect employees in the lignite industry in North Dakota.

The lignite counties of McLean, Mercer and Oliver have some of the highest wages per job in North Dakota.

2. Oliver County $73,522
4. Mercer County $70,478
8. McLean County $56,012

The average wage in North Dakota in 2017 was $50,313.

Source:  Department of Agricultural Economics, NDSU, October 2018