Unemployment rate climbs slightly in North Dakota

The non-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate rose from 2.3% in October to 2.5% in November, Job Service North Dakota reported.

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 — The non-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in North Dakota increased modestly from October to November, Job Service North Dakota reported Friday, Dec. 17.

November’s rate came in at 2.5%, while October’s figure was 2.3%. The number of unemployed individuals in the state rose by 696. Unemployment generally tends to increase from October to November, Job Service said. A total of 9.987 were unemployed in November.

Despite the modest increase in the unemployment rate, North Dakota appears to be recovering from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The unemployment rate stood at 4.3% in November of 2020 with 17,049 unemployed, meaning the number of unemployed is down 41% from a year ago.

Nationwide, 40 states posted decreases in unemployment, while unemployment remained stable in the remaining 10 states, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported . Nebraska’s unemployment rate was the lowest in the United States at 1.8%. The mark broke an all-time record the Cornhusker State set just a month ago. California and Nevada had the highest unemployment rates at 6.9% and 6.8%, respectively.

North Dakota and its neighbors all tallied below-average seasonally-adjusted unemployment rates in November, according to the BLS. South Dakota reported a rate of 2.7%, while Montana’s was 2.8%. Minnesota’s unemployment rate was 3.3% and North Dakota’s came in marginally lower at 3.2%. The nationwide seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 4.2%.


Twelve of North Dakota’s 13 major industries posted year-over-year increases in employment, Job Service said. The leisure and hospitality industry added 4,800 jobs from this time last year, leading the group. The wholesale trade industry reported a loss of 300 jobs from November 2020.

North Dakota’s three largest cities also experienced this rising tide, led by Fargo adding 7,600 jobs from November 2020. Bismarck added 1,700 jobs in the past year, while Grand Forks added 900.

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

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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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