North Dakota workforce sees near record low unemployment rate as an estimated 14,000 positions remain open

Photo by: WDAY Radio File (Canva)
Photo by: WDAY Radio File (Canva)

(Bismarck, ND) -- A North Dakota Jobs Service official says the number of positions open across the state is largely consistent with pre-pandemic numbers.

As of December 14th, there are nearly 14,000 job openings on the state's Job Service website. The listings are largely consistent with pre-pandemic numbers according to Phil Davis, the North Dakota Workforce Services Director, who says 2018 saw the number of openings rise and fall between 13,000 and 16,000.

Davis also said he cant necessarily dispute a claim made by North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, who has previously stated that number is likely twice as large as is reported by state collected data.

"If you have two or three people that would walk through your door, and they're qualified for the opening, you are probably going to hire them at this day and time," said Davis.

Davis also disputed a claim related to the phrase "no one wants to work anymore" due to observations made about the unemployment rate in North Dakota. The state had a 1.4% unemployment rate in October of 2023, and had a record low unemployment rate of 1.3% in September. In addition, he said of the 1,800 people who are receiving benefits, 70% of them were job attached. This includes summer jobs that are furloughed like construction.

Data on November's unemployment rate in North Dakota is expected to be released around December 22nd. 

In general, Davis said the state has some of the highest workforce participation rates in the United States at approximately 70%. This is on top of a claim made by Davis saying many people work two or more jobs, however, he did not cite a statistic with this statement.

Original Air Date: 
Friday, December 15, 2023