North Dakota Has Lowest Unemployment Rate In The Nation For 65th Consecutive Month

In May the national unemployment rate was 6.3 percent.

In North Dakota, the unemployment rate was 2.6 percent, the lowest in the nation for the 65th consecutive month. That’s almost five and a half years of having the lowest unemployment in the nation.

This is from the press release sent out by North Dakota Job Service (full release below):

unemployment
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the state with the second lowest unemployment rate was Vermont at 3.3 percent.

Here’s a ten-year trend line for the state’s unemployment rate:

unemplooymenttrend
And the state continues to add jobs at a remarkable clip, according to the May 2014 jobs report:

Preliminary estimates indicate North Dakota employment expanded on a year-over-year basis in May 2014. Employers reported an estimated 20,100 more jobs when compared to a year ago, a 4.5 percent gain. The private-industry leaders included Mining & Logging (+5,300), Transportation, Warehousing, & Utilities (+3,100), and Construction (+2,600). Four other industries reported gains of 1,000 or more jobs (Wholesale Trade; Retail Trade; Financial Activities; and Leisure & Hospitality). The only industry to report a year-over-year decline in employment was Manufacturing (-300).

North Dakota having a low unemployment rate almost doesn’t rate as news any more given how long the state has sustained such high levels of employment. But that longevity is still remarkable and, as I pointed out recently, may explain the recent low turnout in the 2014 June election.

In a state where things have been so good, for so long, voters probably aren’t feeling like there’s a lot of reasons to go to the polls and vote for change. When voters are satisfied they tend to get apathetic about politics.

I’m not endorsing that attitude, but let’s face it. North Dakotans have a lot of reasons to feel satisfied right now.

Here’s the full release:

ND Unemployment May 2014

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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