Northern Valley Careers packages the region’s workforce recruitment initiatives. The Grand Forks Region EDC works with other community stakeholders, including The Chamber, Job Service ND, school districts, colleges and universities to recruit and retain a vibrant workforce. EDC staff will work with you to help fill your employee needs, identify and apply for relevant training incentive programs, and promote career opportunities your company offers.

The stories about North Dakotans’ strong work ethic and reliability are true. Grand Forks region employees are highly productive, well-educated, and dedicated. In North Dakota and the Grand Forks region average daily attendance in our high schools is among the highest in the country.  For businesses and employers, this translates into hard workers who are raised with the values of commitment and dependability.

The Grand Forks Advantage

  • More than 68% of population has completed some level of post-secondary education –  about 35% have a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Low turnover and absenteeism
  • Average tenure is 11 years
  • Median age is 32.4 years
  • An available labor force of nearly 56,000 within the Grand Forks MSA
  • More than 51,000 post-secondary students within an hour drive of Grand Forks
  • Active Young Professionals network attracting, retaining young talent to the community
  • One of 23 right-to-work states –  vast majority of employees are non-union

Labor Market

The Grand Forks Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes Grand Forks (N.D.) County and Polk County in Minnesota. The Grand Forks Region EDC is committed to on-going workforce recruitment and retention initiatives throughout the region, ensuring you have continued access to qualified employee candidates.


Grand Forks County

Grand Forks MSA

Civilian Labor Force 40,381 57,591
Number Employed 39,447 55,876
Number Unemployed 934 1,715
Unemployment Rate 2.3% 3.0%
Source: Job Service ND, December 2016. Not seasonally adjusted.
In addition to the recorded civilian labor force, within an hour’s drive of Grand Forks are more than 51,000 post-secondary education students who may be available to fill internship and employment positions.

Industry Employment Distribution

Grand Forks MSA
December 2016
 % change
North Dakota
December 2016
% change
Total Employment 57,600 0.3% 440,400 -1.4%
Mining, Logging 3,400 0.0% 17,100 -9.0%
Construction MSA #s with Mining/Logging 27,400 -7.7%
Manufacturing 4,400 10.0% 24,800 -0.8%
Wholesale Trade 1,900 5.6% 24,500 -4.3%
Retail Trade 8,100 -1.2% 50,900 -2.1%
Transportation, Warehousing, Utilities 2,300 0.0% 22,500 -7.4%
Information 600 0.0% 6,500 -1.5%
Financial Activities 1,800 0.0% 23,400 -2.1%
Professional & Business Services 2,900 -3.3% 36,000 -0.3%
Education & Health Services 9,600 0.0% 61,600 0.0%
Leisure & Hospitality 5,800 -7.9% 41,400 2.5%
Other Services 2,200 0.0% 18,800 8.7%
Government 14,600 2.8% 85,500 0.2%
Source: Job Service ND Jobs Report