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Published November 09, 2011, 10:15 PM

More Jobs Than Workers in Grand Forks

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - North Dakota has the nation's lowest unemployment rate right now, but that's not a good thing for everyone.

By: Meagan Millage, WDAZ

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - North Dakota has the nation's lowest unemployment rate right now, but that's not a good thing for everyone.

There are more job openings than there are people looking for work in greater Grand Forks.

The number of job openings in Grand Forks is at a record high and new businesses keep opening.

A large number of the job opportunities are in the food preparation and serving category. Restaurants new to the area are finding it hard to hire.

"Just like anything, it's not easy. You have to really dig down and do the right things to find the right people," Pizza Ranch general manager Matt Slater said.

In a state with the nation's lowest unemployment rate, in a city that is seeing a boom in new business, finding job seekers can be difficult.

"Just a lot of possibilities for people and when we look at the number of openings we have and we look at the number of unemployed people, employers are struggling," Keith Reitmeier with Job Service North Dakota said.

North Dakota's unemployment rate is at 2.7 percent. Grand Forks County is at 3.3 percent.

The number of job openings in Grand Forks County is up 32 percent from this same time last year with a record 1,732 job openings.

"I think if you can really do your best and really recruit and really provide a great image for your potential hiree, you can really do a great thing and they can come back and work for you," Slater said.

Pizza Ranch is just one of many new restaurants that have recently come to grand forks. Slater says that to fulfill their employment needs, they try to be creative and stand out from other who may be hiring.

"You really got to find what's going to motivate people and really reach out to people because not everybody needs to work," Slater said.

Area employers are aware of the shortage of job seekers, but they say the thriving economy provides great opportunity.

"We haven't had a lot of business expansion for three, four years now. I think we're going to start to see more building and even more businesses open in 2012 than we've seen in 2011," Chamber of Commerce president Barry Wilfahrt said.

"There's a lot of people hiring right now and that it's a very competitive market," Slater said.

Job Service North Dakota receives more and more job orders daily. There is definitely more demand across all professions than there are people who need work.

Employers also say they have great part-time and seasonal opportunities for college students.

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