N.D. second for percentage of essential workers in its workforce, study says

Forum file photo
The sector in North Dakota with the highest percentage of essential workers is transportation and logistics. Forum file photo

WASHINGTON, D.C. - North Dakota is No. 2 for the percentage of essential workers in its labor force, right behind the District of Columbia area, according to a study put together by the United Way of the National Capital Area .

The Washington, D.C., area was first with 74.9% of its workers identified as essential. The main essential industries there are government, health care and community services. North Dakota followed at 57.2%, Wyoming at 53.6%, Indiana at 51.8%, and Kentucky at 51.3%.


Essential workers are those whose jobs through the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic are considered vital to society’s continued functioning.
The percentages of essential workers for other states in the region include: South Dakota at 50.4%, Montana at 46.4% and Minnesota at 46%. The national average was pegged at 45.2%.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, they encompass a broad range of occupations, doctors and nurses, police, fire and emergency medical personnel, farmers and ranchers, food manufacturing workers, energy and power sector workers, various government workers, human services providers, grocery store clerks, transportation workers, and many more.


The study took the occupations listed as essential by DHS, determined the number of workers in those occupations in each state using Bureau of Labor Statistics data, and determined the percentages of those workers in the workforce

The study pegged the sector in North Dakota with the highest percentage of essential workers as transportation and logistics at 57.2%, though agriculture and energy are the dominant industries in North Dakota.

For Minnesota, the food and agriculture sector led with 45.9% of its workers considered essential, the study said.

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