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Most North Dakota job openings pay $25+ hourly as job seekers wane

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Kim Jarrett | The Center Square

(The Center Square) - The majority of North Dakota's 19,396 job openings in May paid more than $25 per hour but employers are still trying to find workers, according to a report released by the state's Labor Market Information Center. 

Thirty percent of the job openings paid $30 an hour or more, while 16.4 percent paid between $29.99-$25 per hour, according to LMI. Nearly 48 percent of the jobs required no training and 53.2 percent only required a high school diploma or no education, the report said. 

The number of openings statewide in May was up 8.1 percent over May 2021 but down 0.9 percent from April, according to the report. 

Labor officials said the state has only 1,998 active resumes on its website, down 82.2 percent from the same time a year ago. That amounts to 0.09 active resumes per job opening, according to the report released Wednesday. 

The largest number of job openings is in the health care industry, while transportation and material moving had the second-highest number of openings. The largest year-over-year increase was in installation, maintenance and report, with an increase of 353, according to the report. 

None of North Dakota's 53 counties reported an increase in resumes from May 2021 to May 2022, but 52 counties experienced a decrease. The largest drop in active resumes occurred in Cass County, the county seat of Fargo, with a decrease of 1,665.

The state's labor shortage is one of the economic conditions concerning business and industry, Dr. David Flynn, professor of economics and Clow Fellow at the University of North Dakota, told The Center Square. Other factors include inflation and supply change issues, he said. 

"Add to that global volatility in agriculture prices and some difficult weather at the start of the year and many economic sectors are dealing with the issues here and now," Flynn said. "They are keeping an eye to the idea of a recession but need to deal with those other immediate issues right now."