Unemployment rates remain low in area countiesUnemployment remains low throughout the state, a local official said, and some of Dickinson’s largest employers say they are generally able to fill open positions.
Unemployment remains low throughout the state, a local official said, and some of Dickinson’s largest employers say they are generally able to fill open positions.
As a state, North Dakota has a 5 percent unemployment rate, according to January’s non-seasonally adjusted numbers. The nation sits at about a 10.6 percent unemployment rate, according to Job Service North Dakota’s January information.
Locally, January numbers put Stark County at 3.7 percent, Slope at 2.4 percent, Billings at 3.5 percent, Adams at 3.2 percent and Dunn at 5 percent. In comparison, December numbers put Stark County at 3.4 percent, Slope at 1.4 percent, Billings at 2.8 percent and Dunn at 4.8 percent.
The changes may be due to some seasonal work, said Mary Urlacher, with Job Service North Dakota’s Dickinson office.
“A lot of our southwestern area is seasonal, it depends on weather, it depends on sunlight and things like that,” Urlacher said.
Slope County’s smaller population might be a factor in its lower unemployment rates in December and January compared to the rest of the area, she added.
There are still jobs available throughout the area, she added.
“We’ve been relatively low (unemployment rates),” Urlacher said. “We’ve got jobs available. We’ve got oil field jobs, truck driving jobs and we’ve got a lot of service industry jobs available.
“I think that comes into play with people that have jobs are keeping jobs and those that don’t have jobs are finding a job, whether it’s in their field of interest or they are just taking a job out of necessity.”
Dennis Cannon, spokesperson for St. Joseph’s Hospital and Health Center in Dickinson, the city’s second-largest employer according to Job Service North Dakota information, said he estimates the hospital has as few more open positions now than they’ve ever had during his time at the hospital.
“We’ve gotten people to come from a long ways away (to fill positions),” Cannon said. “For us, we’re in pretty good condition. We’ve been pretty fortunate.”
Dean Riley, safety and human resources manager with Steffes Corp. in Dickinson, the city’s ninth-largest employer according to JSND information, said the corporation has generally received quite a few applicants for its open positions.
“Screening those, finding the most skilled and qualified applicant, has been no problem,” Riley said.
Riley added the quantity of applications being received for open positions has remained fairly steady.
Urlacher said available jobs are listed at www.jobsnd.com, or anyone interested in available jobs can visit the Dickinson office, located at 66 Osborn Drive.