North Dakota Oil Boom – Job Generator
If you’re looking for a job you may want to head north. An oil boom in Williston, North Dakota is producing thousands of jobs, as reported Thursday, in an article published by MSNBC’s Rock Center.
“There’s opportunity here and that’s what we all need is opportunity,” said Williston Mayor Ward Koeser. “It’s kind of been an oasis for the country. You know, there’s a lot of jobs here, good paying jobs in the oil industry.”
Williston is situated in western North Dakota’s booming oil patch, and is the ninth largest city in the state. According to the article, Koeser said that his town currently has 2,000 to 3,000 jobs and they haven’t been able to fill the openings fast enough.
“A lot of jobs get filled every day, but it’s like for every job you fill, another job and a half opens up,” Koeser said.
Williston’s unemployment rate is less than 1 percent, while the nation’s unemployment rate currently stands at 9.1 percent.
The town’s population has nearly doubled from 12,600 people to 23,000 people.
Salaries in the town are high and are attracting job seekers from all 50 states. Starting salaries for truck drivers in the town range from $80,000 a year; you can earn $15.00 an hour at Taco Johns.
NBC News interviewed Patrick Parker who hitchhiked from Yuba City, Calif., to Williston. He said he had just $12 in his pocket. Parker, a paving stone layer by trade, has been out of work for two years. Parker is one of hundreds of people living in their cars in the parking lot of the local Wal-Mart. He said the town feels “like the old gold rush town.”
Oil was discovered in the town about 60 years ago, but only recently oil producers have found an effective way to extract it more effectively. North Dakota is currently the fourth largest producer of oil in the U.S., but is projected to change soon.