Skip to comments.Desperately seeking workers in the oil patch (North Dakota has no workers)
Posted on 06/25/2012 1:03:38 PM PDT by Titus-Maximus
The Quick Take: Rapid oil and gas development in the oil patch of western North Dakota and northeastern Montana has created huge demand for workersnot just in the oilfields, but also in a range of non-oil industries. But so far, the supply of laborfrom within and outside the regionhas responded slowly to demand. In recent years, job openings have soared and unemployment has dropped to very low levelsbelow 3 percent in a number of counties.
The Bakken oil play is drawing job seekers from other Ninth District states and the rest of the country, but theyre not coming in sufficient numbers to keep up with continued job growth. There are several obstacles to the flow of labor into the oil patch, among them low unemployment in eastern North Dakota, the areas frigid winters andmost importanta scarcity of housing.
The region faces an awkward period of adjustment, but labor conditions are likely to loosen within a few years as rising wages and improved living conditions for migrants increase the workforce.
Rick Tofte doesnt try to hire workers for his Williston, N.D., construction business anymore. Theyre difficult to find, and even harder to keepstarting wages at oilfield service firms in the area far exceed what he can pay for the services of carpenters, roofers and electricians. The 30-year-old firm has a full slate of building projects, including upscale housing and facilities for expanding oilfield companies. Yet Tofte Brothers Construction employs only six people; as the oil boom has taken hold in the region, Tofte and his brother Terry have increasingly relied on subcontractors to do most of their work
We have changed our structure in how we [operate], Rick Tofte said. We used to do it all ourselves; now we sub[contract] out 75 percent of it, just because we cant find the employees.
The unemployment rate is 1% in North Dakota and 8.2% in the rest of the nation.
Here's something for the government to do.... Maybe the government could figure this out, instead of creating socialistic giveaways, they could make it easier for the unemployed to come to the oil patch and work. Transport, housing, etc.
Might as well move to Antarctica.
Hubby is up there grading pads for drilling rigs and making tons more money every day than he made when we lived in California. Plus he gets to use the same heavy equipment we would have had to replace back in California (air regulations) and no one cares. He’s making around $1800 a day before expenses and can’t believe that he has no competition.
Tying to talk my 22 year old nephew into going out there. He’s got his welding certification and he could learn everything he would ever need to know there.
The free market is working; the transition just takes time. What they didn't mention is that rents and housing costs have skyrocketed ($2,000.00+/mo for a two bedroom apartment), and the hardest part is finding a place to stay if you're just coming into town.
North Dakota is actually pretty nice in the summer time and this last winter was really mild.
While ND surely can’t be living in the Fred Flintstone age, and has heard of the computer, it’s also true that looking for an IT presence on, say, Dice.com turns up virtually nothing there. Surely it can’t be ALL roughnecks can it?
Living there can be kind of rough now. The demand has sucked housing availability dry. Folks are living in trailers in Wal-Mart parking lots.
Still, ND could stand to nationally advertise more... imho. You should get a bonus for bringing your own trailer, too.
My next-driveway neighbor is out there now, driving a water truck. The money is apparently great, and he says it’s the easiest work he’s ever had (he was a logger and a home builder before this, so that’s not as extravagant a statement as it might sound). He only gets home to his family once a month, so there’s a downside.
The thing that puzzles me about ND isn't that my sister went there. What puzzles me is why more people aren't going there. If you are unemployed, is it better to get a small weekly unemployment check in Pennsylvania or wherever, or get a $1,500 weekly check in ND, where you can also build up your skills?
Tempting, though today. My thermometer here in central Texas says 104......
They aren’t advertising much, and living conditions are pretty darn spartan right now. Still, other booms like the California gold rush didn’t seem to have much problem creating housing. Boom towns went up seemingly overnight. Some scouts in the actual area would be helpful.
I learned all about Williston ND and Bakken a couple years ago when my car broke down.
Really good people in the area...but things are expensive up there now because of ol’ supply and demand....not much supply lots of demand
The area is booming because of oil. My tow truck driver told me it is so hard for any business to keep an employee...because they will get an offer quickly that pays more
I like the area as it is more like the Rockies than the Midwest. The biggest drawback in the area is lack of housing and accomodations....they have to find some way to handle that
Always good to hear a part of the USA doing well, even if it is not my area
A lot of Americans, brainwashed by 50 years of liberal media, have lost one of the qualities that made America great: ambition.
If only South Texas and North Dakota could figure out a productive 6 months /6 months work schedule...
Once upon a time, it was possible to colonize an area with just a small camper pulled behind a medium-duty vehicle, large sedan or pickup truck, where there was some sort of hook-up for utilities and community amenities present. Whole temporary cities could be set up this way, virtually overnight, until more permanent facilities could be built out. The small camper itself became a valuable asset, in that it could be sold to the next prospective colonizer, who arrived with little more than the clothes on his back, basic tools, and a small stake, much like prospectors in the early days of mining strikes.
It is uncomfortable and a lot like a frontier town, but that was how America was once able to expand and grow.
Aren’t there a bunch of FEMA trailers sitting somewhere in a huge lot? Seems like they never can get them in place for any kind of natural disaster, how about utilizing them for a “bootstrap” boost to the economy? Put an unused asset to work, for a basic clearance price, and let the people mobilize, like the huge dispersal of former military goods after WW II, where so much military surplus went to create the new postwar industrial base.
Did a job at the Mandan N.D. refinery in 1991 during winter time.
I have been shivering ever since.
IIRC the FedGov decided the pressboard inside was emitting too much of formaldehyde.
They never heard of opening the windows, apparently.
Trying to keep a trailer built for the Gulf Coast to not Freeze the Pipes during a North Dakota winter would be a tough job.
The FEMA trailer I bought has uninsulated tanks and piping hanging exposed beneath the trailer.
I wouldn’t move to North Freaking Dakota for a million a year.”
hmmmmm....I’d consider it.
easy...summers in Texas, winters in ND....
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