The number of Americans seeking unemployment help fell last week to 444,000, a further weak pandemic and a sign that the labor market continues to strengthen as consumers again spend freely, as viral infections are dropping and trade restrictions are easing. The number of weekly jobless claims – a rough measure of the pace of layoffs – has declined steadily since the start of the year.

Job Service North Dakota reported that labor statistics released today show North Dakota’s unadjusted unemployment rate for April was 4.1%. The unemployment rate fell 0.7 percentage points between March and April. The April 2020 rate was 4.8 percentage points higher than the current rate. A total of 16,268 North Dakota residents were looking for work last month.

Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.1% in April, from 4.2% in March, according to figures released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The decline in the unemployment rate was due to the transition of people from unemployment to employment. The unemployment rate in the United States rose by a tenth to 6.1% in April.

Residential construction in the United States fell a surprisingly strong 9.5% in April, with analysts blaming part of the drop on builders holding back new construction starts due to soaring lumber prices and other constraints supply. April’s decline left construction at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.57 million units.

The Labor Market Information Center has updated the cost of living data for North Dakota through the first quarter of 2021. The cost of living data allows users to visualize the cost of living. comparative life for 24 types of households and various geographic areas up to the county level. Seven basic categories are tracked: food, shelter, health care, transportation, child care, other necessities and taxes. The analysis suggests that the annual household income to cover basic needs in Grand Forks County is $ 22,271. (graphic)

Target’s sales and profits surged in the first quarter as its customers, emerging from the pandemic, returned in large numbers to its stores to purchase dresses, cosmetics and luggage. Sales at stores open for at least a year jumped 18% in the three-month period that ended on May 1. This follows a 6.9% increase in the previous quarter. The Minneapolis chain also offered optimistic sales prospects.

Macy’s came out of an unprecedented year with a surprising return to the earnings column and bolstered its guidance for all of 2021. The company says sales have been fueled by government stimulus checks and the massive rollout of vaccines that have encouraged Americans to return outside. .

Sales of Minnesota’s agricultural, mining and manufacturing exports fell 4% between the first quarters of 2020 and 2021, falling to $ 5.4 billion, according to a report released today by the Department of Employment and Labor. Minnesota Economic Development (DEED). Minnesota’s exports rose 6% in March 2021 from March 2020, halting persistent monthly declines. Canada ($ 1.4 billion) and Mexico ($ 608 million) were the state’s two largest export markets

The West Fargo City Commission has approved an agreement with EAPC Architects for the design and construction of the new West Fargo Fire Department Headquarters. The goal is to complete the headquarters by spring 2023. The West Fargo Fire Department received seven responses to the RFP for design and construction services.

Kia is recalling for the second time more than 440,000 vehicles in the United States to resolve an issue that could cause engine fires. The automaker is also telling owners to park them outside and away from structures, as fires can occur when the engines are not running. The recall involves certain 2013-2015 Optima sedans and 2014 and 2015 Sorento SUVs.

Matt Dunlevy, founder of SkySkopes, Inc., a Minot-based drone company, has been appointed Executive in Residence at the Middleton School of Entrepreneurship & Management, part of the Nistler College of Business & Public Administration at the University of Dakota North. Dunlevy, an alumnus of UND, studied mechanical engineering and history before founding SkySkopes.

The state of Minnesota has named three finalists who are being considered to be the next vice chancellor for information technology. The nominees are Shawn Belling, Casey Gordon and Jacquelyn Malcolm. The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees is expected to consider Chancellor Devinder Malhotra’s recommendation at its June 16, 2021 meeting.