Per Gallup, the good jobs rate “tracks the percentage of the U.S. adult population aged 18 and older who are employed full time for an employer for at least 30 hours per week.”
North Dakota, for the third straight year, had the highest rate in the nation at 51.5 percent. Minnesota was 4th at 49.5 percent, and South Dakota came in 13th at 46.6 percent.
Montana had the 6th worst rate in the nation at 40.6 percent.
Gallup also measured underemployment, which is defined as “the percentage of adults in the workforce who are not employed but are looking and available for employment or who are working part time but desire full-time work.”
South Dakota had the lowest rate at 9.8 percent. Minnesota was at 10.5 percent followed closely by North Dakota at 11 percent with Montana at 11.4 percent.
These numbers are all for 2015, though, and there’s the rub.
In recent years these sort of economic measures which put North Dakota on top as a national leader in prosperity and employment would quickly be touted by the state’s political leaders as a sign of a job well done. But with oil tanking, and a revised revenue forecast to be released today that is certain to trigger budget cuts, there is definitely a feeling that these sort of things are out of date.
We are a state waiting for the other shoe to drop right now. So far the oil downturn hasn’t impacted the state too severely in any way beyond tax revenues, but there is definitely the feeling that we also haven’t seen the worst of it yet.