North Dakota Q4, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 32,068 employers, up 0.2% from 32,009
  • 427,531 employees, up 0.7% from 424,578
  • $1,085 average weekly wage, up 2.6% from $1,057
  • The average weekly wage is 8.4% 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 59, which is an increase of 0.2%. The number of employees in North Dakota increased by 2,953, an increase of 0.7%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $28, an increase of 2.6%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 13 or 0.0%. Growth in private businesses in North Dakota grew slower than the national average of 2.5%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 2,258 or 0.6%. The growth in employees of private businesses in North Dakota was slower than the national average of 1.2%.

The average weekly wage of employees of private businesses increased since last years' Q1. The averge weekly wage increased by $29 or 2.7%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in North Dakota grew slower 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 11.6% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector declined by 2.0%. Professional services (9.6%), which increased by 3.6% and Retail trade (9.5%), which decreased by 0.9%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Educational services2511.3%
Healthcare893.9%
Professional services1083.6%
Utilities53.4%
Company management63.3%
Information123.0%
Mining and oil extraction182.3%
Agriculture and forestry161.6%
Real estate and rental100.9%
Accommodation and food services100.5%
Wholesale trade100.4%
Transport and warehousing70.4%
Other services40.2%
Arts and entertainment00.0%
Manufacturing-2-0.2%
Retail trade-28-0.9%
Finance and insurance-17-0.9%
Construction-74-2.0%
Waste services-186-8.9%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 14.7% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 5.6% in the last year. Retail trade (10.8%), decreased by 2.0% 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
Educational services1766.4%
Construction1,5365.6%
Healthcare3,3335.6%
Real estate and rental1122.1%
Transport and warehousing2821.6%
Professional services2501.5%
Agriculture and forestry601.4%
Wholesale trade3061.3%
Manufacturing2160.8%
Accommodation and food services40.0%
Finance and insurance-28-0.2%
Other services-34-0.3%
Arts and entertainment-61-1.1%
Waste services-175-1.3%
Information-95-1.5%
Retail trade-970-2.0%
Utilities-87-2.5%
Mining and oil extraction-928-4.3%
Company management-1,638-31.1%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Utilities paying $2,120per week compared with the state average of $1,111. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $11 or 0.5%. Mining and oil extraction ($2,106), rose by $48 or 2.3% and Company management ($1,800) increased by $132 or 7.9% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Arts and entertainment$5015.5%
Company management$1327.9%
Transport and warehousing$977.8%
Finance and insurance$765.7%
Information$594.7%
Construction$564.1%
Other services$243.1%
Professional services$483.0%
Retail trade$182.9%
Wholesale trade$352.5%
Mining and oil extraction$482.3%
Accommodation and food services$82.2%
Manufacturing$232.1%
Educational services$71.0%
Healthcare$111.0%
Utilities$110.5%
Real estate and rental$10.1%
Agriculture and forestry$-1-0.1%
Waste services$-19-2.4%


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 1,225 employing 23,844 workers). The Restaurants and other eating places industry had 19 more businesses, an increase of 1.6% in the last year. Other specialized trucking local (2.3% of businesses) added 2 businesses, an increase of 0.3% and Insurance agencies and brokerages (2.1% of businesses) had 17 fewer businesses, a decline of 2.4% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Offices of mental health practitioners1348.1%
Management training741.2%
Theater companies and dinner theaters240.0%
Frozen food manufacturing240.0%
Breweries440.0%
Employment placement and executive search1037.0%
Professional employer organizations936.0%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Services for the elderly and disabled7926.0%
Other technical consulting services278.2%
Accounting and bookkeeping services267.4%
Computer systems design and related services244.2%
Gasoline stations with convenience stores236.1%
Restaurants and other eating places191.6%
Support activities for mining162.5%


Employees by Industry

Other specialized trucking local (2.3% of employees) added 2 employees, an increase of 0.3% and Insurance agencies and brokerages (2.1% ofemployees) had 17 fewer employees, a decline of 2.4% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
General rental centers30315.5%
Other building exterior contractors21132.6%
Other farm product raw material merch. whls.938.8%
Snack food manufacturing7038.6%
Electronic instrument manufacturing1538.5%
Power and communication system construction27337.0%
General medical and surgical hospitals5,77334.4%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
General medical and surgical hospitals5,77334.4%
Oil and gas pipeline construction65122.9%
Electrical and wiring contractors40910.8%
Highway street and bridge construction36417.9%
Power and communication system construction27337.0%
Site preparation contractors25814.7%
Services for the elderly and disabled2239.8%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Promoters without facilities, paying $9,652 compared with the state average of $1,111. Employees in the Promoters without facilities industry were paid $9,245 more per week, an increase of 2,271.5% in the last year. Securities brokerage ($3,094) and Offices of physicians ($2,631) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Securities brokerage ($3,094 per week) were paid $203 more per week, an increase of 7.0% and Offices of physicians ($2,631 per week) were paid $741 more per week, an increase of 39.2% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Promoters without facilities$9,2452,271.5%
Translation and interpretation services$26753.3%
Interior design services$27349.0%
Offices of physicians$74139.2%
Other nondurable goods merchant wholesalers$29331.5%
Promoters with facilities$5730.0%
All other food manufacturing$16129.3%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Promoters without facilities$9,2452,271.5%
Offices of physicians$74139.2%
Coal mining$38218.8%
All other financial investment activities$32415.1%
Offices of mental health practitioners$29825.6%
Other nondurable goods merchant wholesalers$29331.5%
Interior design services$27349.0%


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 91.2%. (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 places1,2251.6%
Other specialized trucking local7500.3%
Insurance agencies and brokerages689-2.4%
Support activities for mining6442.5%
Computer systems design and related services5954.2%
Residential building construction570-4.2%
Temporary help services472-31.0%
Electrical and wiring contractors4420.0%
Drinking places alcoholic beverages436-1.1%
Gasoline stations with convenience stores4026.1%


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 places23,844-1.3%
General medical and surgical hospitals22,57434.4%
Support activities for mining16,099-5.9%
Nursing care facilities skilled nursing8,966-3.0%
Offices of physicians6,539-25.4%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores5,944-1.0%
Commercial banking5,9320.2%
General merchandise stores including warehouse clubs and supercenters5,896-1.7%
Other specialized trucking local5,625-3.8%
Gasoline stations with convenience stores4,955-1.8%


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

Table: Top 10 Industries by Weekly Wage
IndustryWkly Wages% Change
Promoters without facilities$9,6522,271.5%
Securities brokerage$3,0947.0%
Offices of physicians$2,63139.2%
All other financial investment activities$2,47015.1%
Druggists' goods merchant wholesalers$2,46610.1%
Natural gas distribution$2,4520.0%
Coal mining$2,41418.8%
Crude petroleum extraction$2,4072.9%
Miscellaneous intermediation$2,3650.5%
Medical equipment merchant wholesalers$2,318-1.5%




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.