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Port: North Dakota job openings dropped nearly 30% in April, but hiring continued despite pandemic

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MINOT, N.D. — According to North Dakota Job Service, the month of April saw a sharp decline in the number of available jobs in the state.

Which, given all that's happening in the world, probably doesn't come as a surprise to you.

"North Dakota had a total of 11,053 open and available online job openings in April 2020, a change of -29.5 percent (-4,629) from the prior month and -29.2 percent (-4,557) from the same month one year ago," the latest online job openings report from Job Service states.

These are not comprehensive numbers. They capture only job openings posted online. Those advertised through other means aren't reflected in the report. These numbers are merely reflective of trends in North Dakota's job markets.

One interesting trend is that there are thousands of jobs available, and most of them were recent openings, indicating that some hiring was still happening even as the state's economy was mostly shutdown.


"Newer job openings, those posted within the last 30 days, accounted for 59.3 percent of all job openings," the report states.

The number of active resumes - these represent job-seekers who are advertising their availability online - also went up in April. However, the increase wasn't as sharp as the decrease in job openings.

"North Dakota had a total of 5,714 active résumés in April 2020, a change of +10.4 percent (+537) from the prior month and +0.8percent (+48) from the same month one year ago," the report states (about 702 of those resumes were from people living outside of North Dakota).

The difference in trend between resumes and job openings may reflect the fact that many of the recently unemployed have some hope of getting their old jobs back when things return to normal.

Also, expanded unemployment benefits are making it more comfortable than it might usually be to wait before getting back into the job market.

Still, as you can see from this chart from the report, there was a significant change in the resumes count in April:

EMBED: North Dakota active resumes chart


Geographically, the loss of job opportunities wasn't isolated to any one part of the state, though for obvious reasons the most populated areas lost the most, as this map from the report shows:

EMBED: North Dakota job openings map

Of the state's 53 counties, 17 had an over-the-year increase in job openings while 35 had a decrease.

It's worse when you consider that the 17 counties with an increase were very rural areas with tiny numbers.

The most populated areas lost a lot.

What we're all hoping for a is that much-talked-about, "v-shaped" economic recovery, which sees our state's (and our nation's) economy bounce back as things reopen.

I'm not sure how likely that is, given how much damage has already been done and the fact that re-opening is going to be a painfully slow process.


Here's the full report:

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Rob Port, founder of, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at .

Related Topics: NORTH DAKOTA
Opinion by Rob Port
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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