North Dakota Q2, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 31,934 employers, up 0.3% from 31,851
  • 426,728 employees, up 1.6% from 419,952
  • $1,026 average weekly wage, up 4.1% from $986
  • The average weekly wage is 6.3% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 1.2% below the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 83, which is an increase of 0.3%. The number of employees in North Dakota increased by 6,776, an increase of 1.6%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $40, an increase of 4.1%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 32 or 0.1%. Growth in private businesses in North Dakota grew slower than the national average of 2.9%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 6,188 or 1.8%. The growth in employees of private businesses in North Dakota was faster than the national average of 1.4%.

The average weekly wage of employees of private businesses increased since last years' Q1. The averge weekly wage increased by $44 or 4.4%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in North Dakota grew faster than the national average of 3.8%.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Construction with 11.5% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector declined by 3.4%. Retail trade (9.5%), which decreased by 2.0% and Professional services (9.4%), which increased by 3.9%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Waste services984.9%
Professional services1143.9%
Utilities53.5%
Information102.6%
Educational services52.3%
Transport and warehousing362.1%
Real estate and rental141.3%
Mining and oil extraction91.2%
Manufacturing91.1%
Agriculture and forestry50.5%
Wholesale trade40.1%
Company management00.0%
Other services-10-0.5%
Healthcare-22-0.9%
Accommodation and food services-19-0.9%
Arts and entertainment-5-1.0%
Finance and insurance-31-1.6%
Retail trade-62-2.0%
Construction-128-3.4%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 14.9% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 6.4% in the last year. Retail trade (10.7%), decreased by 2.7% and Accommodation and food services (8.2%), increased by 0.0%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Construction2,3659.4%
Healthcare3,8296.4%
Transport and warehousing1,0476.2%
Mining and oil extraction8564.2%
Educational services762.8%
Manufacturing6712.6%
Real estate and rental1372.6%
Professional services3362.1%
Wholesale trade4291.8%
Other services1611.4%
Accommodation and food services80.0%
Arts and entertainment50.0%
Finance and insurance-63-0.4%
Agriculture and forestry-46-1.0%
Waste services-201-1.5%
Information-108-1.7%
Retail trade-1,282-2.7%
Utilities-266-7.1%
Company management-1,766-33.2%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Utilities paying $2,086per week compared with the state average of $1,034. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $88 or 4.4%. Mining and oil extraction ($2,013), rose by $40 or 2.0% and Company management ($1,729) increased by $216 or 14.3% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Company management$21614.3%
Construction$1008.5%
Educational services$507.3%
Other services$405.7%
Manufacturing$474.7%
Arts and entertainment$154.7%
Wholesale trade$584.6%
Utilities$884.4%
Accommodation and food services$154.4%
Real estate and rental$424.3%
Information$494.0%
Professional services$513.8%
Finance and insurance$453.8%
Transport and warehousing$453.8%
Healthcare$333.3%
Retail trade$193.2%
Agriculture and forestry$232.9%
Mining and oil extraction$402.0%
Waste services$-9-1.2%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In North Dakota. the industry with the most businesses is Restaurants and other eating places with 3.8% of the businesses in the state (with 1,206 employing 24,152 workers). The Restaurants and other eating places industry had 6 more businesses, an increase of 0.5% in the last year. Other specialized trucking local (2.3% of businesses) had 1 fewer businesses, a decline of 0.1% and Temporary help services (2.3% of businesses) added 103 businesses, an increase of 16.2% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Electronic instrument manufacturing583.3%
Other farm product raw material merch. whls.266.7%
Offices of mental health practitioners1150.0%
Elementary and secondary schools550.0%
Other building exterior contractors342.9%
Employment placement and executive search937.5%
Breweries333.3%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Temporary help services10316.2%
Computer systems design and related services346.2%
Management consulting services3110.9%
Other specialized trucking long-distance289.7%
Other technical consulting services237.4%
Farm supplies merchant wholesalers164.6%
Accounting and bookkeeping services154.3%


Employees by Industry

Other specialized trucking local (2.3% of employees) had 1 fewer employees, a decline of 0.1% and Temporary help services (2.3% ofemployees) added 103 employees, an increase of 16.2% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
General rental centers26186.5%
Other building exterior contractors22176.9%
Computer training6169.4%
Breweries62111.5%
Local messengers and local delivery16071.0%
Other warehousing and storage6862.3%
Scheduled air transportation2545.3%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
General medical and surgical hospitals6,40738.2%
Oil and gas pipeline construction80334.9%
Support activities for mining6994.4%
Electrical and wiring contractors63718.3%
Highway street and bridge construction29217.1%
Industrial building construction23120.5%
Other specialized trucking long-distance2108.5%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Offices of physicians, paying $2,709 compared with the state average of $1,034. Employees in the Offices of physicians industry were paid $995 more per week, an increase of 58.1% in the last year. Securities brokerage ($2,575) and Natural gas distribution ($2,477) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Securities brokerage ($2,575 per week) were paid $119 less per week, a decline of 4.4% and Natural gas distribution ($2,477 per week) were paid $195 more per week, an increase of 8.5% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Promoters without facilities$32380.3%
Outdoor power equipment stores$36372.9%
Offices of physicians$99558.1%
Other building exterior contractors$54953.5%
Mobile food services$8839.5%
Toy and hobby goods merchant wholesalers$19830.7%
All other wood product manufacturing$17030.4%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Offices of physicians$99558.1%
Other building exterior contractors$54953.5%
Outdoor power equipment stores$36372.9%
Promoters without facilities$32380.3%
Hvac equip. merchant wholesalers$24718.8%
Other building equipment contractors$23920.7%
Internet publishing and web search portals$23426.2%


Company Size

North Dakota Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in North Dakota by far. 58.7% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 28,426 small businesses in the state represent 96.0% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.4%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) North Dakota added 6 businesses in the last year, an increase of 0.0% as compared to the national average of 3.0%.

Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses declined 19 businesses in the last year, which is a decrease of 0.1% as compared to the national average of 3.1%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. These mid-sized businesses added 26 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 2.3% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. These large businesses declined 1 businesses in the last year, which is a decrease of 3.3% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



North Dakota Employees by Business Size

North Dakota added 17,933 employees in the last year, an increase of 5.6% as compared to the national average of 5.2%. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses declined 1,701 businesses in the last year, which is a decrease of 5.6% as compared to the national average of 4.2%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. Mid-sized businesses added 10,292 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 9.0% as compared to the national average of 4.7%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. Large businesses added 9,342 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 34.4% as compared to the national average of 9.2%.

North Dakota Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

The smallest companies in North Dakota (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 8.2% less than the national average ($929 per week as compared to the national average of $1,005 per week). The largest companies in North Dakota (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 74.5% workers below the national average ($1,096 per week as compared to the national average of $1,913 per week).

Average weekly wages in small businesses declined $115 per week in the last year, which is a decrease of 3.3% as compared to the national average of 3.1%. Employees of mid-sized businesses added $34 in wages per week in the last year, which is an increase of 1.0% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Employees of large businesses added $329 of weekly wages in the last year, which is an increase of 13.9% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.

Top Industries for Business and Employment

The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by number of businesses:

Table: Top 10 Industries by # of Businesses
Industry# Businesses% Change
Restaurants and other eating places1,2060.5%
Other specialized trucking local739-0.1%
Temporary help services73916.2%
Insurance agencies and brokerages688-2.7%
Support activities for mining6272.1%
Computer systems design and related services5836.2%
Residential building construction575-5.1%
Drinking places alcoholic beverages433-3.8%
Electrical and wiring contractors430-2.3%
Gasoline stations with convenience stores3800.3%


The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by number of employees:

Table: Top 10 Industries by # of Employees
Industry# Employees% Change
Restaurants and other eating places24,1520.0%
General medical and surgical hospitals23,18838.2%
Support activities for mining16,6954.4%
Nursing care facilities skilled nursing9,236-0.8%
Offices of physicians6,278-28.3%
Hotels and motels except casino hotels6,224-0.8%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores6,0091.4%
Commercial banking5,9530.4%
Other specialized trucking local5,8171.9%
General merchandise stores including warehouse clubs and supercenters5,487-4.2%


The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by highest wages:

Table: Top 10 Industries by Weekly Wage
IndustryWkly Wages% Change
Offices of physicians$2,70958.1%
Securities brokerage$2,575-4.4%
Natural gas distribution$2,4778.5%
Crude petroleum extraction$2,2553.8%
Druggists' goods merchant wholesalers$2,2341.0%
Software publishers$2,2324.2%
Electric power generation$2,1727.3%
Pipeline transportation of natural gas$2,1718.0%
Medical equipment merchant wholesalers$2,164-10.5%
Coal mining$2,0312.2%




Data Sources




About the Writer

This page was created and is maintained by Kurt Tietjen, Founder of Stavera, High Peak Media & HomeGearWorks.com. Kurt is an executive, data scientist and software engineer who holds an MBA in Management Information Systems. In 2010, he partnered with scientists at Northwestern University to launch The Street Wire. This was one of the first mainstream uses of what would become “Narrative Science”, an artificial intelligence platform specializing in natural language generation. You can contact Kurt on LinkedIn here.