Jobs Across North Dakota Rise

By The Bakken magazine staff | August 15, 2014

Job Service North Dakota released the June 2014 Online Job Openings showing more than 25,000 openings within the state. Of the transportation and material moving, office and administrative support and construction and extraction occupational groups, the Bakken region saw an increase of 3,953 jobs to 4,289 jobs. The region also saw an increase of jobs in installation, maintenance and repair, shifting from 769 job openings in June 2013 to 1,179 this year.

North Dakota is divided into eight planning regions, four of which include the Bakken oil and gas play. In those regions, Williams County saw an increase of 436 jobs from 2013 to 2014, whereas McKenzie County saw a significant decrease, dropping from 550 job openings in 2013 to 345 openings in 2014.

Grand Forks County, located on the eastern border of the state, reported an increase of 493 jobs this past year. While not home to hundreds of oil wells, the county offers development-ready properties, available buildings and office space, a skilled workforce, direct transportation infrastructure and qualifying business incentives.

Grand Forks city officials developed a campaign a few years ago called the Bakken Initiative to attract expanding companies from the west to the Grand Forks area. Steffes Corp. took advantage of this two years ago when it purchased a building west of Grand Forks to increase manufacturing capacity.

The demand for jobs led Steffes to look into further expansion, and the company recently announced that it will be adding another facility in the Grand Forks area, which could add up to 30 new employees.

 On a county basis, Cass and Burleigh showed the most job openings––their combined total was 5.6 percent lower than the prior month but 19.0 percent higher than one year ago.

Of the 22 nonmilitary major occupational groups, transportation and material moving reported the largest number of job openings with 2,781, followed by office and administrative support with 2,508 and construction and extraction with 2,255.

According to the report, active resumes in the state, which include all online resumes that have been created or otherwise modified during the reference period, totaled 10,781 in June. There was a total of 8,578 in-state active resumes and 2,203 out-of-state active resumes.

Construction and extraction and transportation and material moving were two of the major occupational groups that saw large numbers of active resumes. With 1,341 and 1,049 active resumes, respectively.

Overall, North Dakota’s job openings rate was 5.5 percent in May 2014, which is up compared to last year’s rate of 4.6. However, although the job openings rate increased, North Dakota’s overall unemployed persons per job opening decreased within the past year dropping from 0.5 in 2013 to 0.4 in May 2014. Of North Dakota’s 53 counties, 33 of them have reported unemployment rates of less than 1.0.

According to the report, North Dakota had a significantly lower average than that of the nation in persons per job opening. The April comparison showed North Dakota at 0.4 persons per job opening versus the U.S. rate of 1.8.