We see that you have javascript disabled. Please enable javascript and refresh the page to continue reading local news. If you feel you have received this message in error, please contact the customer support team at 1-833-248-7801.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

New job market study ranks ND among the top 10 states weathering the effects of the coronavirus

Claude Richard farms soybeans just south of the Deer Creek subdivision in southwest Fargo and has lost considerable farmland to the development. Blake Gumprecht / The Forum.
A recent study by MoneyRates.com ranks North Dakota among the nation's top 10 job markets weathering the economic effects of the coronavirus. While good news, Commerce Commissioner Michelle Kommer points out the study failed to include agriculture as a sector deeply affected by the coronavirus. Forum file photo
We are part of The Trust Project.

FARGO — North Dakota has been ranked among the nation's top 10 job markets weathering the economic effects of the coronavirus, according to a study by MoneyRates.com, a personal finance resource.

“I believe that we raised the bottom of the economic decline by not completely shutting down our economy,” North Dakota Department of Commerce Commissioner Michelle Kommer said.

The study, released June 9 and authored by Richard Barrington, the senior financial analyst for MoneyRates.com, analyzed four job market factors across the nation in determining its rating:

  • Unemployment rate

  • Change in the unemployment rate since coronavirus lockdowns began

  • Exposure to industry sectors that have been most vulnerable to lockdowns

  • The number of job seekers per most recently-reported number of job openings in each state

Using this analysis the top 10 job markets are:

  1. Utah

  2. Kansas

  3. Nebraska

  4. Wyoming

  5. South Dakota

  6. Indiana (tie)

  7. Virginia (tie)

  8. Arizona

  9. Colorado

  10. North Dakota

North Dakota’s May unemployment rate was 9.2%, Kommer confirmed, which she said is lower than she initially expected.
“It was lower than what we were forecasting based on what we knew about how our industries were affected,” Kommer said.

ADVERTISEMENT

The study ranked North Dakota 7th by its insured unemployment rate, 5th by the change in that rate since February, and 5th by overall job seekers per opening. It also factored in what it called “exposure to troubled sectors,” by which the state ranked 38th.

While Kommer was pleased with the study’s results, she wasn’t above questioning its methodology. When the study looked at “super sectors,” industries that have sustained the biggest job losses since the pandemic struck, agriculture wasn’t on its list.

“We wonder if that had some influence on where we rank,” Kommer said.

Natural resources, including oil, were accounted for the in the study.

The troubled oil and agriculture industries, which have been hit hard in recent months, are in some ways addressed by a single summary line in the study's posted results. “[North Dakota] does have more exposure to troubled industries than most states,” according to the study, “so it remains to be seen whether its job market can sustain its strong performance.”

Kommer said the North Dakota Commerce Department is trying to understand both “the leading and the lagging indicators” driving the economy. She’s “cautiously optimistic” about what she’s seeing, she said, and there’s a reason for that.

“North Dakota did not completely shut down our state,” Kommer said, “and I have said all along that I hope in retrospect that we see the advantages of that bear out in our recovery trajectory.”

The full MoneyRates.com study can be found at https://www.money-rates.com/research-center/hottest-job-markets.htm

ADVERTISEMENT

Michelle Kommer 2020.jpg
Michelle Kommer, North Dakota commerce commissioner

Related Topics: CORONAVIRUSAGRICULTURE
What to read next
Check out what the business team is following this week
American Crystal Sugar gave $530,000 to GOP members of Congress who refused to certify Donald Trump's loss in the 2020 election, the second-highest total, according to a report.
Becker Transports of Wadena, Minnesota, started in with a 1985 Mack Superliner bought in 2010. A dozen years later, that ‘85 Mack is still putting in the miles as Becker Transport has grown into a regional trucking company, hauling loads like farm machinery, construction equipment, gravel and grain across the upper Midwest.
The North Dakota Mill and Elevator opened its doors in Grand Forks on Oct. 20, 1922, after several decades of attempts by farmers to halt the hold the grain trade had on pricing and grain grading.