Those hurt hard by the ailing economy are flocking to Williston, N.D., where an oil boom has turned a sleepy prairie town into a place producing thousands of jobs.
“There’s opportunity here and that’s what we all need is opportunity,” said Williston Mayor Ward Koeser. “It’s kind of been an oasis for the country. You know, there’s a lot of jobs here, good paying jobs in the oil industry.”
Williston is situated on the Bakken formation, an oil field that some say will produce the biggest boom in North America since the 1960s. Koeser said that his town currently has 2,000 to 3000 jobs and they haven’t been able to fill the openings fast enough.
“A lot of jobs get filled every day, but it’s like for every job you fill, another job and a half opens up,” Koeser said.
A job on an oil rig can pay as much as six figures. The starting salary for truck drivers is around $80,000. While the nation’s unemployment rate is 9.1 percent, Williston’s unemployment rate is less than 1 percent.
Locals say job seekers from all 50 states are heading to the North Dakota town, becoming modern-day pioneers. The town’s population has nearly doubled from 12,600 people to 23,000 people.
Read full article here: MSNBC
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