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Future Job Openings in State Expected to be Broader Mix
Post Date: Jul 18 2014

By The Bismarck Tribune

New job projections for North Dakota are indicating a shift back to the state’s core industries as oil exploration steadies in the next 10 years.

The oil industry in North Dakota has indicated that as the Bakken matures, job openings will be less focused on temporary exploration positions and more focused on permanent production related positions. As that happens, North Dakota Job Service says, more of the state’s open jobs will be in the service sector.

“It’s going to take somewhat fewer people for production versus exploration,” said Michael Ziesch, manager of the Labor Market Information Center for Job Service.

Ziesch said job growth has started to come full circle. Those industries requiring larger numbers of employees are becoming the ones with the most job openings again and the types of job openings match the state’s pre-oil boom economy more closely.

“Every other major industry is posting increases,” he said.

According to the 2012-22 Long-Term Employment Projections Report, statewide there will be a predicted 1,879 open positions for retail salespeople, 1,792 open positions for food service workers, 1,635 open positions for registered nurses, 1,363 open positions for bookkeepers and 1,227 open positions for janitors.

In the 2010-20 Long-Term Employment Projections Report, the top five occupations for number of open positions were truck drivers, wellhead pumpers, oil, gas and mining service unit operators, office clerks and retail salespersons. Each of those had projected openings of 6,150, 2,483, 2,472, 2,165 and 1,960, respectively.

Many of those now listed as the top five occupations for numeric job growth match those listed in the Job Service report produced in 2008.

Wayde Sick, director of the North Dakota Department of Commerce workforce division, fields calls from non-residents considering moving to North Dakota for work. He said when they do call, they are often calling about oil field jobs. But the department is making an effort to inform them of opportunities statewide.

“It’s not just the oil field or truck driving. It’s across the board,” said Sick of job openings in the state.

Ziesch said in terms of job growth the northwest will continue to do well but so will North Dakota’s urban centers, like Bismarck, Fargo and Grand Forks.

Ziesch said only 35 percent to 40 percent of job openings are in oil=producing counties. Companies in Cass and Burleigh counties, respectively, posted 1,649 and 378 more online job openings in June 2014 than they did in June 2014, according to Job Service data.

“That speaks to the importance of the out-of-state job seeker,” Ziesch said, adding that many living in the state are already employed and will be vacating positions if they choose to fill one of the new job openings.

When it comes to job openings that are new openings rather than past jobs that need to be replaced, the office support, food service and health care industries are projected to have the most, with each of those industries having more than 5,000 new openings statewide by 2022.

New job openings in the construction and extraction industry and the transportation industry also will have nearly 5,000 new openings a piece but the ratio of new openings to replacement openings is much less than what was projected in the 2010 report.

New openings in those industries were projected to be more than 10,000, according to the 2010 report. The total projected openings in each of those industries are also expected to be much less. Projected openings in construction and extraction are at 14,475 in the 2012 report compared to 18,839 in the 2010 report. For transportation those numbers are 13,792 openings compared to 21,485 openings.

Ziesch said this indicates a transition from more specialized occupations to a balance of new openings in all occupations across the state. He said, of those non-oil related careers, the online job openings report indicates employers and potential employees alike are looking for management related careers.

To attract workers to the state for reasons other than an oil related career, North Dakota Tourism Division is using its “Find the Good Life in North Dakota” campaign to show the whole picture of employment in the state.

Sara Otte Coleman, director of tourism, said the campaign has started by focusing on those workers transitioning from military to civilian life and looking for jobs.

State employees have been to about three military job fairs so far, Otte Coleman said. Each job fair has a focus. Of those attended, one in Texas focused on logistics and heavy equipment careers. Another in Indiana focused on managerial employment.

“In most cases we’re looking to get a family unit,” Otte Coleman said, adding when families come there are spouses and children who may be available to fill those service sector entry level positions expected to be available.

Future Job Openings in State Expected to be Broader Mix - bismarcktribune.com

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