North Dakota posts modest unemployment rate increase

Though the unemployment rate climbed slightly, year-over-year data signaled a continued recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

PHOTO: Job Service North Dakota Fargo office
The Job Service North Dakota office just off 13th Avenue in south Fargo is seen Thursday, July 22, 2020. David Samson / The Forum
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BISMARCK — North Dakota’s not-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate stood at 3.3% in March, Job Service North Dakota reported Thursday, April 14.

The unemployment rate increased two-tenths of a percentage point from the month prior, Job Service added. The rise was attributed to a 5.1% increase in the number of unemployed individuals, with 645 more newly-unemployed between February and March. This bucked the typical trend, Job Service said, noting that unemployment tends to decrease in that time frame.

Year-over-year statistics showed improvement, however, as the number of unemployed individuals fell by 6,414, or nearly one-third.

Nationwide, Job Service North Dakota said that the not-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 3.8%.

The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in North Dakota was 2.9% in March, while the nationwide figure was 3.6%. The seasonal adjustment “uses a statistical adjustment to accommodate predictable fluctuations between months such as length of daylight and typical weather, allowing for comparison between all months of a year,” Job Service explained via news release.


In total, North Dakota reported 392,828 employed individuals and 13,306 unemployed individuals in March.

Additional year-over-year data pointed at a continued recovery from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Job Service reported that North Dakota’s not-seasonally-adjusted employment grew by 13,000 individuals from March 2021 to March 2022.

Nine of the state’s 13 major industries benefited from the employment boost. Leisure and hospitality and government both added 2,600 employees, the largest increases of any industry. Among the four industries which lost employment, educational and health services saw the greatest decrease with a loss of 800 jobs.

Fargo, Bismarck and Grand Forks all posted year-over-year employment gains. Fargo added 1,900 jobs, while Grand Forks added 1,500 jobs and the capital added 1,300.

Readers can reach InForum reporter Thomas Evanella at or follow him on Twitter @ThomasEvanella

Thomas Evanella is a reporter for The Forum. He's worked for The Forum for over two years, primarily reporting on business news. Reach him at or by calling 701-353-8363. Follow him on Twitter @ThomasEvanella.
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