North Dakota Employment Statistics

  • 31,884 employers
  • 417,577 employees
  • $1,007 average weekly wage
  • The average weekly wage is 8.5% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 1.3% below the national average

Types of Employers (Private Sector vs Government Agency)

As an employer in North Dakota, you are most likely to be running a private company rather than a government agency. 93.7% of employers run private companies in the state, 3.3% less than the national average of 97.0. The remaining 6.3% of employers are government agencies: 2.0% work in a federal agency, 1.2% work for the state and 3.1% work for local government. The chart below illustrates the breakout of employers by type.
83.0% of employees work for a private company. This is 2.2% below the national average of 85.2%. Local government agencies employ 10.4% of the workers in the state, state government agencies employ 4.4% of the workers and the federal government employs 2.2%. The percentage of employees working for a government agency (17.0%) is 2.2% higher than the national average. The chart below illustrates the breakout of employees by type of employer.
The average weekly wage in North Dakota is $1,007 per week, which is 8.5% greater than the national average of $1,101 per week. North Dakota workers that are employed by private businesses earn $1,022 per week, 7.1% lower than the national average for private company employees. Employees of federal government agencies in North Dakota earn $1,292 per week, a premium of 26.4% compared to what employees of private companies earn. The chart below illustrates the average weekly by type of employer.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Construction with 11.9% of the businesses in the state. Retail trade (9.6%) and Professional services (9.2%) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Sectors by # of Businesses
Sector# Businesses% of Bus.
Construction3,79811.9%
Retail trade3,0709.6%
Professional services2,9219.2%
Wholesale trade2,7948.8%
Healthcare2,3377.3%
Accommodation and food services2,1516.7%
Other services2,0516.4%
Waste services2,0286.4%
Finance and insurance1,9276.0%
Transport and warehousing1,7445.5%
Real estate and rental1,0693.4%
Agriculture and forestry9853.1%
Manufacturing8072.5%
Mining and oil extraction7812.4%
Arts and entertainment4771.5%
Information3951.2%
Educational services2210.7%
Company management1820.6%
Utilities1450.5%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 14.3% of the employees in the state. Retail trade (11.2%) and Accommodation and food services (8.3%) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Sectors by # of Employees
Sector# Employees% of Emp'
Healthcare59,51914.3%
Retail trade46,85811.2%
Accommodation and food services34,6858.3%
Construction26,0026.2%
Manufacturing25,9066.2%
Wholesale trade23,8925.7%
Mining and oil extraction20,8045.0%
Finance and insurance17,8344.3%
Transport and warehousing17,2194.1%
Professional services15,9503.8%
Waste services13,3273.2%
Other services11,3072.7%
Information6,2211.5%
Arts and entertainment5,6901.4%
Real estate and rental5,3111.3%
Company management5,2821.3%
Agriculture and forestry4,6181.1%
Utilities3,6660.9%
Educational services2,6650.6%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Mining and oil extraction paying $2,049per week compared with the state average of $1,022. Utilities ($2,043) and Company management ($1,648) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Wages by Sector
SectorWkly Wagevs St Avg.
Mining and oil extraction$2,049200.5%
Utilities$2,043199.9%
Company management$1,648161.3%
Professional services$1,403137.3%
Information$1,350132.1%
Wholesale trade$1,309128.1%
Finance and insurance$1,273124.6%
Construction$1,242121.5%
Transport and warehousing$1,219119.3%
Manufacturing$1,036101.4%
Real estate and rental$1,025100.3%
Healthcare$1,00197.9%
Agriculture and forestry$83581.7%
Waste services$74873.2%
Other services$71670.1%
Educational services$70068.5%
Retail trade$59858.5%
Accommodation and food services$34934.1%
Arts and entertainment$31530.8%


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 1,200 employing 23,935 workers). Other specialized trucking local (2.3%) and Insurance agencies and brokerages (2.2%) round out the top 3 industries. The Top 10 Industries in the state are:
Industry# BusinessesEmp/Biz
Restaurants and other eating places1,20019.9
Other specialized trucking local7417.7
Insurance agencies and brokerages7063.1
Temporary help services6495.4
Support activities for mining62126.0
Residential building construction5973.0
Computer systems design and related services5535.1
Drinking places alcoholic beverages4508.1
Electrical and wiring contractors4428.2
Plumbing and hvac contractors3888.0


Employees by Industry

The industry with the greatest number of employees in the state is Restaurants and other eating places with 5.7% of the businesses in the state. The industry employs 23,935 in 1,200 businesses, there are 19.9 employees on average in each of these businesses. General medical and surgical hospitals (4.0%) and Support activities for mining (3.9%) round out the top 3 industries.
Table: Industries by # of Employees
Industry# EmpEmp/Biz
Restaurants and other eating places23,93519.9
General medical and surgical hospitals16,794299.9
Support activities for mining16,15826.0
Nursing care facilities skilled nursing9,306108.2
Offices of physicians8,72632.9
Supermarkets and other grocery stores5,96633.7
Commercial banking5,91116.1
General merchandise stores including warehouse clubs and supercenters5,81363.2
Other specialized trucking local5,7267.7
Management of companies and enterprises5,28229.0


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Software publishers, paying $2,684 compared with the state average of $1,022. Securities brokerage ($2,655) and Crude petroleum extraction ($2,599) round out the top 3 industries.
Table: Wages by Industry
IndustryWkly Wage% of Avg
Software publishers$2,684262.6
Securities brokerage$2,655259.8
Crude petroleum extraction$2,599254.3
Druggists' goods merchant wholesalers$2,468241.5
Natural gas extraction$2,462240.9
Medical equipment merchant wholesalers$2,340229.0
Pipeline transportation of natural gas$2,325227.5
Natural gas distribution$2,273222.4
Coal mining$2,157211.1
Electric power generation$2,058201.4


Company Size

North Dakota Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in North Dakota by far. 58.8% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 28,442 small businesses in the state represent 96.1% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.6%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) The pie chart below illustrates the ratio of business sizes.

North Dakota Employees by Business Size

The largest companies in the state represent 68.5% of all employees, which is 70.0% lower than the national average of 138.4%. Smallest companies also employ a lower percentage of the states workforce than the largest companies. The solopreneur (those that employ fewer than 5) companies employ 87.6% of all workers, which is 3.9% lower than the national average of 91.5%. All small companies, those employing fewer than 50 people, represent 606.5% of the labor force in the state, 56.4% more than the national average of 550.0%.

North Dakota Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

The smallest companies in North Dakota (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 8.6% less than the national average ($898 per week as compared to the national average of $975 per week). The largest companies in North Dakota (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 68.3% workers below the national average ($1,118 per week as compared to the national average of $1,882 per week).



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.