With a current jobless rate less 4%, North Dakota has the best job market in the United States. The state has a labor shortage, and a shortage of housing and other support structures to support its growing labor pool.
What has made North Dakota a magnet for jobs? There are a number of reasons, but the main reason is development of oil wells in the Bakken geologic formation in the western portion of the state. New drilling techniques have allowed energy exploration companies to drill and recover oil in areas such North Dakota that were previously inaccessible. With the price of oil around $100 per barrel, these energy exploration companies have wasted no time signing drilling leases with local property owners and drilling to extract oil. In fact, so much oil drilling is occurring in North Dakota that the state is now fourth in oil production behind Texas, Alaska and California. Who ever thought of North Dakota and Black Gold Oil?
The oil boom has not only been great for energy exploration companies and their employees, it has also provided much needed income to North Dakota farmers and land owners, who have sold drilling rights for their properties, and have reaped considerable financial benefits, including ongoing royalty payments for each barrel of oil extracted on their properties. This has had a multiplier effect on local businesses, leading to the creation of even more jobs, as local property owners have additional disposable income to spend.
North Dakota’s good job fortunes are not limited to its new found oil fortunes.