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North Dakota unemployment rate drops below 3 percent

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North Dakota unemployment rate drops below 3 percent
Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

BISMARCK -- North Dakota's not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 2.7 percent in May, but even that isn't a record low for the state.

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The lowest May rate in at least 25 years occurred in 2001 when it was 2.3 percent, said Michael Ziesch, manager of Job Service North Dakota's Labor Market Information Center.

However, the labor force also had 44,355 fewer people back in May 2001, he said.

"That makes our current rate pretty impressive," he said.

The May 2012 rate is a 0.4 percentage point decrease from April's 3.1 percent and 0.5 percentage points lower than one year ago, according to Job Service North Dakota. The national not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.9

percent.

October is historically the lowest unemployment rate month, Ziesch said. Back in 1997, North Dakota's not seasonally adjusted rate was 1.7 percent.

North Dakota had 391,859 people in the labor force in May compared to 384,211 one year ago.

Employers reported an estimated 26,700 more jobs compared to a year ago, a 6.8 percent gain, according to Job Service North Dakota.

Private industry sectors that led in job growth include mining and logging (6,600 jobs added), professional and business services (4,600), construction (3,400), and transportation, warehousing and utilities (3,400).

Job Service North Dakota reported 23,350 online job openings in May, 2.9 percent (709 jobs) lower than April but 55.8 percent higher (8,362 jobs) than one year ago.

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