North Dakota Job Service Director shares insights into state's workforce shortage

Courtesy: North Dakota Office of the Governor
Courtesy: North Dakota Office of the Governor

(Bismarck, ND) -- North Dakota is in a better spot for it's workforce related issues compared to the rest of the country, according to the top official at North Dakota's Job Service. 

Pat Bertagnolli is North Dakota's Job Service Director. He joined AM 1100 The Flag's What's on Your Mind Program to speak on the workforce shortage affecting the state. Bertagnolli says the state is moving forward, despite feeling impacts from Covid-19 and in comparison to other states.

"North Dakota ranks third in the nation for our labor participation rate, we are up around 69 [or] 68 percent," said Bertagnolli, "Obviously there have been retirements, people working two jobs - there's not as many of those anymore. I think some of those folks are coming back."

Bertagnolli says many people are beginning to increase the number of hours worked, including picking up second or third jobs. This also includes a higher than average workforce participation rate for teenagers. Bertagnolli says the labor participation rate for people aged 16 to 19 is ten percent higher compared to the national average (48% compared to 38%). The director says this is one method North Dakota can grow its workforce without single handedly relying on attracting people to the state through other means.

"From a job service perspective, we are doing a lot of things out there with career expos, apprenticeship programs, and really just trying to create some exposure to those students to get them inspired and motivated to jump into the workforce," said Bertagnolli.

North Dakota currently has 16,001 registered job openings across the state. You can learn more about North Dakota Job Service by clicking here

Original Air Date: 
Thursday, December 8, 2022