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North Dakota Lost Industrial Jobs For The First Time Since Recession


Contact: Jennifer Ratcliff
Manufacturers' News, Inc.
(847) 864-9440 ext. 241
jratcliff [at]

EVANSTON, Ill, August 10th, 2016/Manufacturers' News, Inc./-- Manufacturing employment in North Dakota declined for the first time since the recession, reports the 2017 North Dakota Manufacturers Register®, an industrial database and directory published by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI) Evanston, IL. According to data collected by MNI, manufacturers in North Dakota shed 2,682 jobs -- a 6% decline -- between June 2015 and June 2016.

North Dakota’s 1,183 manufacturers employ 44,477 in the state, reports MNI. Since April of 2010, North Dakota’s industrial employment has grown by 11,597 jobs or 33%, led by the state’s shale drilling boom. This past year’s survey of North Dakota manufacturers marks the first time the state has shed industrial jobs since the recession.

“Gas prices are bottoming out and this has affected not only North Dakota’s oil/gas extraction sector, but other industries that supply it, such as industrial machinery and fabricated metals,” says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. “However, even with a sudden 6% drop in employment, and a 23% decline in the oil/gas sector, North Dakota’s industrial employment still stands at a higher level than it did ten years ago – a milestone few other states have achieved.”

Ten years ago, North Dakota’s manufacturing sector accounted for 35,545 jobs, according to MNI data.

The oil and gas extraction sector has led North Dakota’ post-recession job gains, with jobs skyrocketing 250% between 2010 and 2014, but the industry’s employment declined for the first time in a near decade, falling 23% over the past twelve months. The oil/gas extraction sector ranks second in North Dakota for industrial employment, employing 6,952.

First-ranked industrial machinery also suffered over the past year, losing 5.2% of its jobs, and now employs 8,895. Food products – third in North Dakota by number of jobs – fell 1.6% to 5,264.

Jobs in food processing may inch back, however, as NuTek Food Science hires at its new high-tech salt processing plant in Fargo.

Additional sectors reporting losses included primary metals, down 26%; paper products, down 11.4%; and fabricated metals, down 5.5%. Losses were somewhat offset by gains in furniture/fixtures, up 11.4%; rubber/plastics, up 9%; and electronics, up 4.2%.

In addition to thousands of layoffs at major drilling companies in the state, North Dakota industrial sites announcing permanent closures included supplier Enseco Services in Minot; WCE Oil Field Services in Fargo; Pumpco Energy Services, also in Minot; and industrial heater maker Mac Inc. in Bismarck.

MNI’s regional data shows employment losses were predominately centered in North Dakota’s Northwest region, with jobs down 19% over the past year to its current level of 9,192. The state’s Southeast region also took a hit, with employment down 3.4% to 23,485 jobs, while employment was steady in the Northeast at 5,311 workers. Employment was up 3.5% in the Southwest, reports MNI, with that region now accounting for 6,489 industrial jobs.

City data collected by MNI shows Fargo ranks first in the state for number of industrial jobs, with 10,479 workers, down 5.3%. Second-ranked Williston accounts for 5,236 jobs, down 23%, while third-ranked Grand Forks is home to 3,070 workers, up 8.8%. Dickinson ranks fifth with 3,012 jobs, up 11.1%, and fifth-ranked West Fargo accounts for 2,640 industrial jobs, down 6%.

Established in 1912, MNI is the nation’s oldest and largest compiler of industrial information, offering tailored solutions to help customers connect with 430,000 manufacturers and suppliers. MNI’s industrial marketplace IndustryNet: is a one-stop resource that connect buyers with suppliers of 10,000 + products and services, and allows users to obtain competitive quotes, create and view company profiles, post company news releases, photos, videos, job openings, and more. MNI’s subscription service EZ Select: provides access to MNI’s live interactive database of manufacturers. For more information, contact MNI at 847-864-7000 or visit
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