EVANSTON, Ill. - Industrial employment in North Dakota shot up 15.8% over the past twelve months according to the 2013 North Dakota Manufacturers Register, an industrial directory published annually by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI) Evanston, IL.
MNI reports North Dakota gained 5,899 industrial jobs between May 2011 and May 2012, with employment in the oil and gas extraction sector more than doubling in response to the Bakken Shale oil boom.
Manufacturers' News reports North Dakota is now home to 1,237 manufacturers employing 43,154 workers.
"For many years North Dakota has maintained a winning combination of abundant natural resources, low business costs, and an educated workforce," says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. "And now the Bakken Shale boom has boosted North Dakota from the fourth largest oil producing state a year ago to the second largest, and employment has risen accordingly."
Apart from the oil and gas employment gains, bright spots were also seen in other sectors, with Ultra Green announcing plans to open a wheat straw fiber plant in Devils Lake, and Bobcat announcing an expansion of its Manufacturing Support Center in Bismarck. Advanced Drainage Systems announced an expansion at its newly-opened plant in Buxton; Prinsco Inc. plans a new pipe manufacturing facility in Fargo; and Cargill announced plans to rebuild and expand its West Fargo oilseed processing facility.
MNI reports North Dakota's largest industrial sectors by employment all posted gains over the past year. Industrial machinery and equipment remains the state's largest industrial sector by employment, with 8,447 of the state's jobs, up 21% over the year. Oil and gas extraction now ranks second in the state with 7,011 industrial jobs, an increase of 4,474 jobs over last year. Food products manufacturing ranks third with 5,506 industrial jobs, up 2.4%.
Other sectors that gained jobs included textiles/apparel, up 11.5%; fabricated metals up 8.2%; transportation equipment, up 5.6%; stone/clay/glass, up 4.8%; and petroleum/coal products, up 2.6%. Employment remained steady in lumber/wood and paper products, while losses were seen in rubber/plastics, down 12.9%; printing/publishing, down 3.1%; chemicals, down 3% and electronics, down 1.1%. Industrial locations closing down included a Global Electric Motorcar plant in Fargo; ADM's ethanol plant in Walhalla; a Cloverdale Foods facility in Minot; and Parker Hannifin's Valley City plant.
MNI reports the Southeast region of North Dakota accounts for the most industrial employment, with 21,648 industrial jobs, up 4.2% over the year. The Northwest accounts for 9,657, up 76% over the past year. The Southwest is home to 6,264, up 19.7%, while The Northeast region is home to 5,585 industrial workers, down 3.2% over the past twelve months.
MNI reports manufacturing employment in North Dakota's largest industrial cities either saw increases or remained unchanged over the year. Fargo remains the state's top city by manufacturing employment, accounting for 9,754 jobs, with no significant change reported over the past twelve months. Williston now ranks second in the state for number of industrial employment, with 6,028 jobs, an increase of 3,446 jobs from a year ago. Third-ranked Grand Forks accounts for 2,709 industrial jobs, virtually unchanged from a year ago. West Fargo accounts for 2,612 jobs, up 32%, while Dickinson accounts for 2,680 industrial jobs, up 43%.