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North Dakota unemployment rate rises 50 percent in January

BISMARCK - More than 6,000 more North Dakota workers found themselves jobless in January as the unemployment rate increased 50 percent, according to a report released today by Job Service North Dakota.

The number of unemployed climbed to 18,256 in January, compared to 12,273 in December. The state's non-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate increased to 5.1 percent from 3.4 percent a month earlier, said Maren Daley, executive director of Job Service North Dakota.

"January data reflects the effect of temporary layoff activity at Bobcat and some of their vendor companies reported in the media, with nearly 1,500 workers idled over the period who have since been called back to work," said Michael Ziesch, a Job Service research analyst.

The state's 5.1 percent unemployment rate continues to compare favorably with the nation's 8.5 percent unadjusted rate, Daley said.