North Dakota Tops in Jobs Again

A recent Gallup poll puts my fair state, North Dakota, at the top of list for job creation for the third straight year.  Another poll, released earlier this week placed it as the second happiest state in the union, losing only to Hawaii.  (How can you be unhappy in Hawaii?)  The next closest “state” to ND in the job creation category was D.C., which isn’t surprising considering all the jobs that Obama claims to have created.  If even a fraction of his totals are correct, they’ve still created a good number of jobs.  It does go to show just how large of a percentage of those jobs were Government jobs though.

View from Island Park RampIn North Dakota, a vast majority of the jobs that were created were oil field jobs.  But, if you stop to think about that, most of those who were able to move out to the oil producing areas and get jobs, have.  Which leaves a lot of open positions elsewhere around the state.  For instance, a quick search of the North Dakota Job Service shows that there were 191 jobs listed in my county and the county to the east.  Neither of those is anywhere near the active oil fields.  You’ve got to travel at least 100 miles to the west to get to the fringe of the oil fields.  The population of those two counties can’t be much more than 30,000.  I’m sure similar searches would show similar results.

The truth is that, despite all the talk about the oil boom up here, there are affects of the boom being felt all around the state.  Jobs left open by people chasing the money, jobs created because of the oil fields, and overall, a really good state economy are helping the state achieve and maintain one of the best jobs environments in the United States.  And, judging by the news we’ve been hearing about the rest of the world, it’s likely a world class environment.

With any great side, comes a few down sides.  The state wasn’t prepared for the influx of people to the oil fields.  There are lots of people working on creating more opportunities for housing in the area, but the area is still way short of housing.  Plus, you’ve got the North Dakota winter to contend with.  They’re cold, and, usually, snowy.  We usually see snow around Halloween, and see it melt away in April.  To counter that, we do have some really excellent summers.  A few days over 100, but most of them in the 80 degree range.  And, the winter is only really bad around January and February.  (usually.)

Overall, it’s a great place to live, and those polls aren’t just flukes. ;)

photo credit: Zach Heller Photography