Oil production in the Bakken shale formation is making unemployment virtually nonexistent in North Dakota. With 200 rigs pumping 440,000 barrels of oil per day, the state’s unemployment rate is holding at 3.5 percent. Many of the jobs pay exceptionally well, with high school graduates making more than $100,000 per year.
Jobs Looking for Workers
“We have 18,000 jobs looking for people,” North Dakota Rep. Rich Berg (R) told the Hill, noting, “if our country’s GDP grew at 7 percent, as it does in [my] state, most of our problems would be over in two years.”
“The regulatory environment was already low in North Dakota, certainly better than California’s and some other oil-producing states,” said Brett Narloch, executive director of the North Dakota Policy Council. “As we move forward with oil production, I expect the business environment to get better.”
New Challenges, Opportunities
Oil production in North Dakota now rivals that of OPEC member Ecuador, which produces 485,000 barrels per day. As production keeps increasing, more workers are needed.
The North Dakota legislature is using some of the state’s oil revenue to fund $1.2 billion in infrastructure improvements, including building roads and schools to accommodate the many people bringing their families when they move to the state to work.
Read More at Heartlander By Kenneth Artz, Heartlander