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Help Wanted: Fargo, North Dakota Strains to Fill Jobs - How is it in your state?

February 26, 2011View for printing

North Dakota boasted a 3.9% average unemployment rate in 2010, the Labor Dept. said Friday, the third consecutive year the state has notched the lowest rate in the nation, or tied for it.

After such bulletins, North Dakota staffing agencies often are flooded with calls from out-of-staters looking to work there. Yet, few of those conversations translate into hires.

As the U.S. struggles with 9% unemployment, many companies in North Dakota are struggling to find workers and recast a reputation that some local officials blame on cold weather and a bad image stemming from "Fargo," an Oscar winner with the tagline: "A lot can happen in the middle of nowhere." (Most of the 1996 movie actually was set in Minnesota, locals are quick to point out.)

Tech specialists are tough to hire, too. "We don't have people camped outside our office begging to work here," said Vern Dosch, chief executive of Mandan, N.D.-based National Information Solutions Cooperative http://www.nisc.coop/Careers/Careers.htm . The 840-employee technology company plans to send representatives to the Minneapolis job fair.

By JOE LIGHT

Full Story: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000 ... sNewsSecond

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