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North Dakota job openings decline sharply over the past year

GRAND FORKS, N.D.--The number of job openings in North Dakota is down almost 20 percent from a year ago, according to a report released Wednesday. Job Service North Dakota said the 13,551 online job openings across the state in October were 18.8 ...

GRAND FORKS, N.D.-The number of job openings in North Dakota is down almost 20 percent from a year ago, according to a report released Wednesday.

Job Service North Dakota said the 13,551 online job openings across the state in October were 18.8 percent lower than the same month a year ago and 8.1 percent below September. Thirty-nine of North Dakota's 53 counties reported year-over-year drops in job openings, according to Job Service.

The northeast region of the state, which covers Grand Forks, Nelson, Walsh and Pembina counties, saw a 25.2 percent drop in job openings, declining from 2,396 in October 2015 to 1,792 last month.

Grand Forks County saw a drop of 539 job openings over the past year, which was the second-most in the state behind Burleigh County. Cass County lost 244 job openings.

Production-related jobs, such as machinists and welders, had the largest number of job openings in the northeast region of North Dakota with 201 positions, according to the Job Service report.

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The Job Service report doesn't offer an explanation for the drop in job openings, but North Dakota's economy has slowed due to a drop in oil and farm commodity prices.

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