North Dakota Q1, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 31,650 employers, up 0.2% from 31,593
  • 413,225 employees, up 1.6% from 406,762
  • $1,021 average weekly wage, up 3.3% from $988
  • The average weekly wage is 13.8% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 1.3% below the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 57, which is an increase of 0.2%. The number of employees in North Dakota increased by 6,463, an increase of 1.6%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $33, an increase of 3.3%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 6 or 0.0%. Growth in private businesses in North Dakota grew slower than the national average of 3.0%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 5,978 or 1.8%. The growth in employees of private businesses in North Dakota was faster than the national average of 1.7%.

The average weekly wage of employees of private businesses increased since last years' Q1. The averge weekly wage increased by $38 or 3.8%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in North Dakota grew faster than the national average of 3.0%.


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 4.1%. Retail trade (9.6%), which decreased by 0.6% and Professional services (9.3%), which increased by 3.7%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Waste services1346.9%
Educational services125.6%
Professional services1053.7%
Utilities42.8%
Real estate and rental111.0%
Transport and warehousing140.8%
Other services90.4%
Finance and insurance50.3%
Mining and oil extraction20.3%
Agriculture and forestry20.2%
Information00.0%
Manufacturing-1-0.1%
Retail trade-19-0.6%
Wholesale trade-23-0.8%
Arts and entertainment-4-0.8%
Company management-2-1.1%
Healthcare-43-1.9%
Accommodation and food services-45-2.1%
Construction-155-4.1%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 15.2% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 5.6% in the last year. Retail trade (11.0%), decreased by 3.2% and Accommodation and food services (8.2%), increased by 0.3%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Mining and oil extraction2,23411.7%
Construction1,6467.8%
Transport and warehousing1,0576.4%
Healthcare3,3425.6%
Educational services1134.2%
Manufacturing9403.7%
Professional services3612.3%
Real estate and rental1011.9%
Wholesale trade3481.5%
Other services630.6%
Accommodation and food services1120.3%
Finance and insurance590.3%
Agriculture and forestry-22-0.6%
Retail trade-1,490-3.2%
Arts and entertainment-170-3.2%
Information-234-3.7%
Waste services-476-3.8%
Utilities-270-7.3%
Company management-1,736-33.1%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Company management paying $2,750per week compared with the state average of $1,043. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $825 or 42.9%. Utilities ($2,284), rose by $275 or 13.7% and Mining and oil extraction ($2,190) increased by $36 or 1.7% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Company management$82542.9%
Utilities$27513.7%
Arts and entertainment$227.7%
Construction$776.9%
Other services$314.6%
Professional services$524.0%
Real estate and rental$404.0%
Educational services$263.9%
Finance and insurance$513.6%
Transport and warehousing$433.5%
Accommodation and food services$92.7%
Wholesale trade$342.6%
Retail trade$132.2%
Mining and oil extraction$361.7%
Manufacturing$111.1%
Waste services$50.7%
Agriculture and forestry$-2-0.3%
Healthcare$-4-0.4%
Information$-22-1.6%


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 1,187 employing 23,386 workers). The Restaurants and other eating places industry had 3 more businesses, an increase of 0.3% in the last year. Temporary help services (2.3% of businesses) added 132 businesses, an increase of 22.0% and Other specialized trucking local (2.3% of businesses) had 17 fewer businesses, a decline of 2.3% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Electronic instrument manufacturing583.3%
Computer training266.7%
Other farm product raw material merch. whls.266.7%
Breweries450.0%
Toy and hobby goods merchant wholesalers233.3%
Sporting and athletic goods manufacturing133.3%
Offices of mental health practitioners730.4%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Temporary help services13222.0%
Computer systems design and related services417.7%
Other technical consulting services3411.7%
Other specialized trucking long-distance238.1%
Offices of real estate agents and brokers176.4%
Management consulting services176.0%
Gasoline stations with convenience stores143.8%


Employees by Industry

Temporary help services (2.3% of employees) added 132 employees, an increase of 22.0% and Other specialized trucking local (2.3% ofemployees) had 17 fewer employees, a decline of 2.3% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
General rental centers16134.4%
Breweries57110.1%
Other building exterior contractors14105.1%
Professional employer organizations5766.3%
Local messengers and local delivery13358.6%
Geophysical surveying and mapping services647.9%
Oil and gas pipeline construction69640.9%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
General medical and surgical hospitals5,83234.7%
Support activities for mining2,08314.1%
Oil and gas pipeline construction69640.9%
Electrical and wiring contractors37911.2%
Industrial building construction26133.0%
Other specialized trucking long-distance2138.8%
Industrial machinery merchant wholesalers21110.3%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

Temporary help services ($2) and Other specialized trucking local ($2) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Temporary help services ($2 per week) were paid $132 more per week, an increase of 22.0% and Other specialized trucking local ($2 per week) were paid $17 less per week, a decline of 2.3% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Promoters without facilities$591158.9%
Commodity contracts dealing$94164.3%
Mobile food services$15556.4%
Management of companies and enterprises$82542.9%
Offices of physicians$62241.2%
Breweries$12139.4%
Other nondurable goods merchant wholesalers$22730.2%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Commodity contracts dealing$94164.3%
Management of companies and enterprises$82542.9%
Offices of physicians$62241.2%
Promoters without facilities$591158.9%
Pipeline transportation of natural gas$52018.5%
Electric power generation$38818.8%
Crude petroleum extraction$3028.4%


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 92.9%. (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%.



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.