North Dakota's workforce seeing low unemployment, high workforce participation rates

(Bismarck, ND) — North Dakota currently lists nearly 14,000 jobs available throughout the state. But, an official with North Dakota’s Workforce Services Division with Job Service North Dakota says it’s likely higher.

“A lot of people probably heard the Governor say, ‘Well, it’s probably twice that,’” Phil Davis, Director of Workforce Services at Job Service North Dakota, said. “I can’t ever argue with that.”

Davis said the reason for the likelihood of a higher number is the fact that employers in the state likely have more than one person that would walk through their doors and be qualified.

“You’re probably going to hire them in this day and time,” he said.

Davis said winter is the ‘slow time’ of the year for job openings, saying that the nearly 14,000 openings will increase to between 15,000 and 16,000 when construction companies begin hiring in April or May.

The information technology sector is one of the industries that are currently hiring, he said. But the healthcare industry, according to Davis, is always the top industry hiring each year.

“Healthcare always has the most openings,” he said.

North Dakota’s unemployment rate, for the month of October, was 1.4 percent — slightly higher than the record low of 1.3 percent in September.

“We have very few people on unemployment,” Davis said. “We have the highest workforce participation rate in the country at nearly 70 percent.”

Davis made the comments while appearing on The Flag's Steve Hallstrom Show on Thursday.

Original Air Date: 
Thursday, December 14, 2023