Oil boom in ND drives jobless rate down to 1%

January 24, 2012 07:09

“Top 12” issues facing a community where the economy is booming, the jobless rate is less than 1%, and there are bound to be some “growing pains.”


By Mark J. Perry at Carpe Diem


A meeting was held of the North Dakota Sheriffs & Deputies Association in Bismarck, and as part of this meeting we had an opportunity to sit down with law enforcement officials from western ND to discuss what they are going through with the oil impact.  Here are some oil issues from western North Dakota.

MP: There are 35 in total, these are my “Top 12” issues facing a community where the economy is booming, the jobless rate is less than 1%, and there are bound to be some “growing pains.”

1. Traffic accidents, especially fatal traffic accidents are of very high concern. At one location on Highway 85 south of Williston, a traffic count was conducted in October of 2011. In one 24-hour period there where 29,000 vehicles through the intersection, with 60% of the traffic being semi trailer trucks.
2. Traffic is typically backed up for ½ to ¾ of a mile. One person stated that he recently sat at an intersection on Highway 85 for 30 minutes waiting for an opening in the traffic to cross over.3. Rents in Williston currently range from $2,000 for a one-bedroom apartment to $3,400 for a three-bedroom apartment.
4. Williams County allows three campers per farmstead, the farmers almost all have three campers on their property and are charging $800 per camper per month for rent.
5. The Walmart in Williston no longer stocks shelves, they bring out pallets of merchandise at night, and set them in the aisles, and customer shops from the pallets.
6. On January 1, the Williston Walmart had 148 campers overnight in their parking lot.
7. The Williston McDonalds just announced that they will pay new workers $15 an hour, a $500 immediate signing bonus and full medical benefits.
8. The local restaurants are full and with limited staffing, they usually just have the drive through open. The restaurants that have inside seating are now experiencing an hour wait at all times.9. The local Motel 6 in Williston now rents rooms for $130 per night.
10.  Trinity Hospital in Minot has just hired 115 nurses from the Philippines, because they cannot get enough local nurses to apply.
11. The Williston General Motors dealership has now become the No. 1 seller of Corvettes in the upper Midwest.
12.  The Williams County jail has increased bookings by 150%, with a 100% increase in the inmate population. Bonds of $5,000 to $10,000 are typically paid with cash out of pocket. The Williams County Sheriff stated that a couple of weeks ago he received a $63,000 bond in cash carried into the jail in a plastic Walmart bag.
Thanks to Steve Gorkis and Bob Anderson for sending this.

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