Out-of-state workers flock to ND for jobs

2010-07-09T11:37:00Z Out-of-state workers flock to ND for jobsThe Associated Press The Associated Press
July 09, 2010 11:37 am  • 

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota's healthy economy and scores of unfilled jobs lured workers from across the nation last year, with bordering states and Michigan leading the wave, a Job Service analysis shows.

Job Service said 6,620 people from other states found a job in North Dakota last year, up from 3,631 in 2008. The numbers reflect only out-of-state residents who registered on the agency's website by providing a Social Security number and later earned wages in North Dakota.

More than 27,000 people from other states registered online from 2008-2009, records show.

Job Service North Dakota research analyst Michael Ziesch said the report is only a snapshot of the number of people who actually landed a job in the state.

"It's just a small subset of the churn of people moving to North Dakota," he said.

The influx of workers is a relatively new experience for North Dakota, a state that for decades suffered population decline. North Dakota began the decade with its highest population since 2000, according to Census Bureau figures.

The bureau's most recent estimate put North Dakota's population at 646,844 in July 2009, up from 641,421 in 2008 and the 2000 count of 642,200. The state's population is up more than 14,000 people from a decade-low of 632,809 in 2003.

The state's population peaked at 680,845 in 1930.

North Dakota's strong economy led by the booming oil patch in the western part of the state has pushed the population in recent years.

In June, the state had the lowest unemployment rate in the nation at 3.3 percent and tallied 10,700 unfilled jobs, Ziesch said.

Residents from every state in the nation relocated to North Dakota last year to land a job, Ziesch said. More than 3,900 Minnesotans found work in North Dakota in 2009, followed by 433 Montanans and 340 South Dakotans, Job Service records show.

Michigan, a state hurt by an ailing auto industry and where unemployment has hovered around 14 percent, lost 235 residents who found work in North Dakota last year, Job Service records show.

"Other parts of the country are lacking jobs and we have them," said state Commerce Commissioner Shane Goettle. "People move toward opportunity."

Officials from the Commerce Department and businesses in need of workers had been attending job fairs in other states hoping to entice former North Dakotans and others to move back to the state. But the practice has been halted, at least for a while, Goettle said.

"We haven't been doing them for a while, and quite frankly, we haven't had to," he said.


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(4) Comments

  1. CindyR
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    CindyR - July 10, 2010 1:16 pm
    Yes, we have all these $8/hour or lower jobs - many of them, so people can work 2-3 jobs to make statistics look good. Also, I know of a few people who moved here, and got on welfare - notice how we never see the statistics on increases there?
  2. HanpaSunka
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    HanpaSunka - July 10, 2010 11:48 am
    What a bummer. Here come the rif-raf.. and the self-proclaimed 'leaders' in ND will welcome them on the ridiculous premise that ND "needs" more people. We have had about the lowest crime rates; the most peaceful place; and lots of that most important quantity - SPACE & PEACE-&-QUIET. But the "leaders" are too short-sighted to see the value in that.. They just want to destroy the beauty & the space in favor of lining their bank accounts. And while they're at it, hiring outsiders instead of us who have been here 'forever', true Native North Dakotans, & native North Dakotans, alike. Bum-mer! And so very wrong.
  3. ndstudent
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    ndstudent - July 09, 2010 3:47 pm
    Just remember people....while our economy is booming and more jobs are created the people will come. However, the "rif-raf" will come with them. Just a warning!!!!

  4. Voice of Truth
    Report Abuse
    Voice of Truth - July 09, 2010 2:41 pm
    If you build it they will come.
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