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The Labor Market Information Center has released the latest Online Job Openings Report (OJOR), a monthly recap of online job openings and resumés activity from Job Service North Dakota’s labor exchange system. Online job openings totaled 23,496 open and available positions in March 2015. Openings were higher by 11.5 percent (+2,415) over the prior month and 2.5 percent higher (+564) than one year ago. For additional details, please visit the Online Job Openings Report page.


The 2014 Employment and Wages by Occupation report is now available. Employment and wages by occupation are compiled using results from a semiannual survey conducted by the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program. The sample-based survey asks employers to provide data regarding occupational employment and wages for their establishment. The results are summarized and estimates of employment and wage (annual and/or hourly) data are calculated for most occupations in the state, its metro areas and designated nonmetro areas. Employment and wages by occupation can be used to analyze occupational wage rates across markets, develop staffing patterns and occupation projections, and plan for careers. The report references 2014 data. The new employment and wage data are also available interactively by visiting Analyzer, our online data query tool in NDWIN.


The U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is responsible for maintaining and updating statistical area delineations, a task it has performed every decade since the 1950 Census. In 2013, OMB announced revised delineations of metropolitan, micropolitan, and combined statistical areas, which replaced delineations from 2003. The Labor Market Information Center of Job Service North Dakota began adopting the changes starting with 2015 data. For North Dakota, two areas were affected by delineation changes: the Bismarck metro area and the Dickinson micro area. All other North Dakota metro, micro, and combined area delineations remain unchanged. The old Bismarck metro area delineation consisted of Burleigh and Morton Counties. The new Bismarck metro area delineation now consists of Burleigh, Morton, Oliver, and Sioux Counties. The old Dickinson micro area delineation consisted of Billings and Stark Counties. The new Dickinson micro area delineation now consists of only Stark County. While most statistical programs were able to apply delineation changes to their historical data series, select programs were not able to reconstruct older data due to methodology limitations resulting in a series break. For select data, an update to the 2013 delineations won’t occur until 2016 (e.g. employment and wages by occupation). A vast majority of data in NDWIN have been updated with the new area delineations. When using Analyzer, our data query tool, geographic area options will be notated as either 2003 delineations or 2013 delineations. If a historical reconstruction for a data series occurred, 2013 metro, micro, or combined area delineations will be the only options available.


U.S. Census population annual estimates for 2014 by metropolitan, micropolitan, and county areas were recently released. Of North Dakota’s 53 counties, 32 reported population gains since July, 1st 2013. Much of the gains occurred in the western half of the state. The county reporting the largest numeric increase was Cass (+3,798) while Walsh reported the largest decline (-136). A total of 21 counties reported year-over-year declines in population estimates between 2013 and 2014. The six fastest-growing counties in 2014 were directly connected to western North Dakota oil and gas activities. Since the 2010 Census, the fastest-growing counties have been McKenzie (+72.9 percent), Williams (+43.5 percent), and Mountrail (+27.5 percent). Ten counties reported declines of at least one percent or more between 2013 and 2014 led by Burke with a decline of 2.0 percent. For North Dakota’s three metro areas, Bismarck’s 2.1 percent growth rate ranked it 22nd among all 381 metro areas nationally while Fargo’s 2.0 percent growth rate ranked 28th. The Grand Forks growth rate (+0.8 percent) ranked 139th. Of the nation’s 536 micro areas, Williston ranked as the fastest-growing in the country and third in the largest-growing category. The Dickinson and Minot micro areas also ranked among the nation’s top ten fastest-growing. Visit the U.S. Census Bureau website for more information.


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Jobs Report

April 21, 2015

Preliminary estimates indicate North Dakota employment expanded on a year-over-year basis in March 2015. Employers reported an estimated 14,500 more jobs when compared to a year ago, a 3.2 percent increase. For a detailed breakdown, visit the Jobs Report page.

North Dakota Employment Estimates
Year-Over-Year Percent Change
March 2014 - March 2015

Graph showing North Dakota's Employment Change Year-over-Year by Month

Labor Force and Unemployment Statistics

April 21, 2015

Preliminary labor force statistics indicate North Dakota’s March 2015 not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.8 percent, up from the prior month and higher than the 3.4 percent rate reported one year ago [region, metro, and county data will be released April 27th]. Adjusted for seasonality, North Dakota’s unemployment rate was 3.1 percent, up from the prior month. The U.S. rate was 5.5 percent. For a detailed breakdown, visit the Labor Force and Unemployment Statistics page.

North Dakota Unemployment Rate
Not Seasonally Adjusted
March 2014 - March 2015

Graph showing the Monthly Unemployment Rate

County Unemployment Rates
Not Seasonally Adjusted
FEBRUARY 2015

Map of North Dakota showing County Unemployment Rates PDF Download PDF Version

Initial Claims Data

This report highlights the most recently released monthly initial claims data from the unemployment insurance program. For a detailed breakdown, visit the Initial Claims Data page.

County Initial Claims
Year-Over-Year Numeric Change
March 2014 - March 2015

Map of North Dakota showing County Initial Claims Year-Over-Year Numeric Change PDF Download PDF Version