Tuesday, August 25, 2009

North Dakota or Bust

Daily Vidette reports:

Students who have recently graduated, or are planning to graduate soon, may find relief from the current recession in an unlikely place: North Dakota. Despite the recession, North Dakota has vacant job postings as well as a state budget surplus and has one of the nation’s lowest unemployment rates.

Compared to other states, North Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate in the country, at just 4.2 percent. It also has a $1.2 billion budget surplus, according to an MSNBC article.

The state, which boasts more than 9,000 unfilled jobs, held a series of job fairs in other states that have been decimated by the recession, and even hired a talent recruiter to create an inviting Web site to bring in those looking for work.
According to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, North Dakota’s Gross Domestic Product grew 7.3 percent since 2007.

Here are all the unemployment rates by state (had to break them up to made them legible). Notice North Dakota ALL the way at the bottom. I don't think I could live there after seeing this though.

Top 25

Bottom 26

Source: BLS

1 comment:

  1. There are a lot of articles out there about recruiters going to neighboring Midwest states trying to get people to move to North Dakota. I keep hearing about a labor shortage there, but I'm so jaded, I sometimes wonder if officials in the state are more interested in getting a larger labor pool for employers to choose from (thereby driving down wages). Perhaps they're unhappy that their unemployment rate is too low?

    It's worth noting that Microsoft opened up offices in North Dakota so they wouldn't have to pay Seattle-sized salaries, and then started complaining about the lack of qualified workers.

    There's also an undercurrent that as more people move to North Dakota, more jobs will be created to service the residents. Have officials commissioned any studies on the optimal number of people that could move to their state before the costs start outweighing the benefits? E.g., when they need to start raising taxes in order to develop new infrastructure that would be needed to handle the influx of new residents? Or is that scenario so unlikely it would be a waste of time to commission such a study?