job servicesnd 2019 (copy)

At right, a Job ServicesND employee in the Williston office assists a job seeker with his search for a new job in this file photo. Jobs are slightly down for September, but it’s still a job seekers market in the Williston region.

Job openings have fallen slightly for the month of September, but still exceed the number of job seekers by significant amounts across most sectors.

According to the latest jobs report released by Job Services ND, there were 1,435 job openings posted with Job ServicesND for Region 1, which includes Williams, Divide and McKenzie counties. That is 15 fewer jobs month over month, but 193 fewer jobs year over year.

Only two sectors have just as many or more job seekers as jobs. Those were community and social services and office and administrative support.

About 57 percent of posted jobs require only a high school diploma or equivalent, while 25 percent required a bachelor’s and 18 percent a post-secondary degree.

The average wage for all jobs is $29.28 per hour. Thirty-three percent of the available jobs pay $30 plus.

“Not shockingly, CDLs are at the top of the list by far with the most job openings,” Williston Job ServicesND office manager Paula Hickel said. “But there was a time last December where health care practitioners edged them out. And there is quite a wide gap now, with 100 positions.”

There were also increases in management positions, month over month, Hickel said, and that is a trend that points toward future growth.

“Usually that happens again when things are going well and you need to expand your structure of leadership and oversight,” she said.

Production jobs, meanwhile have dropped, month over month.

“That makes sense because it was up 55 percent in response to the layoffs in the production sector of the oilfield,” Hickel said, referring to a surge in postings to try to capture recently laid off individuals to fill positions that had been open for a while. “They had kind of a surge to get those positions known, and ow that has kind of naturally dropped back down. They are still higher than they were, so not all the way back down.”

The recent job fair was successful in that respect, Hickel added.

“Quite a few of the companies at the job fair indicated they had candidates pursuing and-or that they made offers,” she said.

Government positions that are too similar to oilfield positions meanwhile continue to experience difficulty filling their positions.

“An engineer position, equipment operator, or something that requires a CDL, those are nearly impossible to fill,” Hickel said. “They are really struggling to fill those at city, county and state levels. They have several engineer positions. They just cannot compete with the oilfield wages.”

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