Williston November workforce numbers

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WILLISTON, N.D. - November job numbers were released Wednesday, and there were some big changes for our region.

Workforce Manager Paula Hickel says there were 1,341 job openings, an 18-percent decrease from October, but still 19-percent higher than this time last year. She says this is pretty typical because many jobs scale back or halt operations completely during the winter months and demand is not as great. While some workers might file for unemployment during these months, Hickel says many folks are still seeking seasonal employment elsewhere.

"It makes sense that the numbers are down. But the number of job seekers remains the same which is good because we are still way short in every occupation group except office and administrative support, we are short on job seekers actively looking for these jobs that are open," said Hickel.

Hickel says that office and administrative support is at a one-to-one ratio, with there being one job for every one person looking. She says other industries have been able to fill some positions by advertising sign-on bonuses and by bringing back housing allowances, indicative of the times and the economy.

"Companies are struggling to recruit and the economy is shifting. Unfortunately, with that rents will increase and they are increasing. So that housing allowance not only is an added perk, but it may be essential for some of those people experiencing rent increases and they need to be with a company who can compensate for that," said Hickel.

Hickel says companies will continue to get more creative with their hiring practices as well as their retention efforts.