Strong economic news out of North Dakota isn’t exactly surprising. It’s been news for a while now. The economic growth here is astounding. But sometimes I think we can get a little jaded as to just how profound the growth really is.
Then we get a reminder. Case in point, this factoid from Teri Finneman’s report about the state’s most recent job numbers:
North Dakota’s rate of unemployed persons per job opening was 0.5 in April. One year prior, North Dakota’s rate was 0.9, the report said.
A 1:1 job opening/unemployed ratio would mean that we have one unemployed person for ever one job opening.
If we have a rate of half an unemployed person for every job opening, that means we have twice the number of job openings as unemployed.
Total job openings in North Dakota? According to Finneman’s report, 23,350.
Granted, unemployment numbers aren’t perfect. There are a lot of factors they don’t take into account (people who are underemployed, for example, or who have given up looking for a job). But it’s pretty clear that everyone who wants a job in North Dakota can get one, and then some.
In the epicenter of the oil boom – Williston, ND – unemployment is at .7%, the lowest rate ever recorded in North Dakota history.
North Dakota doesn’t need to work on job creation. North Dakota needs to work on getting more people here to take some of these jobs.
Meanwhile, the BEA reports that national per-state GDP growth was at a paltry 1.5%. North Dakota’s, though, was at 7.6%.
The politicians will, of course, heap a lot of credit on themselves, but absent the oil boom North Dakota’s economic growth would be a lot closer to that 1.5% national trend than the booming 7.6% we’re at now.