North Dakota reports dip in unemployment numbers

Between July 2021 and August 2021 unemployment fell by 1,909, a decrease of 12.8%.

FSA Unemployment jobless

BISMARCK — Job Service North Dakota reported that labor statistics released Friday, Sept. 17, show North Dakota’s July not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.2%. The unemployment rate fell 0.4 of a percentage point between July and August. August 2020’s rate was 2.6 percentage points higher than the current rate.

Between July 2021 and August 2021 unemployment fell by 1,909, a decrease of 12.8%. North Dakota typically sees a slight decrease in unemployment numbers between July and August. There was an over-the-year decrease (August 2020 to August 2021) in the unemployed labor force of 11,165, a loss of 46.1%.

The national not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August was 5.3%. It was 5.7% the prior month and 8.5% the prior year.

The nation’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.2% for the month, lower than the prior month by 0.2 of a percentage point, and 3.2 percentage points lower than the same period one year ago. The seasonally adjusted rate for North Dakota was 3.6%, 0.3 of a percentage point lower than the prior month, and 2.5 percentage points lower than the same period one year ago. The seasonal adjustment process uses a statistical adjustment to accommodate predictable fluctuations between months such as length of daylight and typical weather, allowing for comparison between all months of a year.

In August, North Dakota ranked 11th among all states’ unemployment rates, at 3.6%. Nebraska came in first place with an unemployment rate of 2.2%.


Preliminary estimates indicate North Dakota’s August 2021 not seasonally adjusted employment increased 3.1% (+12,700) from the same period one year ago and increased 0.2% (+700) over the month.

Eleven of the 13 major industries reported year-over-year employment increases, led by Leisure and Hospitality posting a gain of 3,800 jobs (+10.6%). The Food Services and Drinking Places subsector contributed the largest portion of this increase, a gain of 2,400 jobs. The second largest major industry increase took place in Mining and Logging, with an annual employment gain of 2,200 jobs (+17.5%). The third largest industry employment increase took place in Construction (+1,400).

Educational and Health Services posted the largest over-the-year drop in employment, a loss of 400 jobs (-0.6%). The drop in Educational and Health Services employment was largely attributed to a drop in Nursing and Residential Care Facilities employment. Wholesale Trade reported the largest over-the-year percentage decrease at 1.3% (-300 jobs).

All three of North Dakota’s metro areas reported increases in annual employment. Combined, employment grew by 9,400 jobs in the metro areas. Fargo posted the largest employment gain of 6,200 jobs. Bismarck and Grand Forks followed with employment growth of 2,300 and 900, respectively.

The most substantial gains took place in the Leisure and Hospitality (+2,300), Mining, Logging and Construction (+1,300), Educational and Health Services (+700), and Government (+600). Information (-100) was the only industry to display a year-over-year decrease.

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