Here is the most recent employment/unemployment data for the northern plains. As always at this time of the year the data is a little later than normal because this is the time that North Dakota’s Job Service verifies the statistics from the past year.

While I only show year ago comparisons for North Dakota the employment picture improved for all four states in the northern plains. Of course North Dakota has the greatest percentage improvements because the economic growth it is continuing to enjoy. However, I would expect that as the oil patch continues to mature and the farm economy continues to slow down North Dakotas figures will become closer to its neighbors.

Minnesota, with the largest economy in terms of all measurements has had a very strong recovery. The one thing to point out for all the states is that not only are the employment percentages figures improving but the numbers are even better than the improvement would indicate. That is because the percentages are always based on the number of people looking for work and when the recession was at its worst many who were no longer eligible for unemployment payments simply quit looking for work which they had decided was not there. Today with the improvement in the economy many have come back into the labor market.

Let’s hope this is a long term trend.


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