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Go West, Young Man (To North Dakota)

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Are you unemployed and out of options?  Well, if you live in most areas of the country there is not much hope for you.  But there is one state where hiring is really hot right now.  If you are desperate for a job, you just might want to check out North Dakota.  Way back in the middle of the 19th centurty, author Horace Greeley gave young Americans the following advice: “Go West, young man, go West“.  Well, we have reached another moment in U.S. history when it may be wise for many Americans to pick up and move to another part of the country in search of opportunity.  Of course traveling to North Dakota is not “going west” for all Americans, but for the majority of the population it is.  In the 19th century, many Americans traveled west because they believed those that told them that there was “gold in them thar hills”, but today a different kind of “gold” is being found in North Dakota.  The state is currently enjoying a boom of “black gold”, and all of that oil is creating a huge number of jobs.  If you are unemployed and you are desperate, you might want to check out North Dakota.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.

As I write about so frequently, unemployment is an absolute nightmare in most areas of the country right now.  But in North Dakota there are plenty of jobs and they pay really well.  Just check out what a new CNN article is saying about what is going on in the state….

Believe it or not, a place exists where companies are hiring like crazy, and you can make $15 an hour serving tacos, $25 an hour waiting tables and $80,000 a year driving trucks.

You just have to move to North Dakota. Specifically, to one of the tiny towns surrounding the oil-rich Bakken formation, estimated to hold anywhere between 4 billion and 24 billion barrels of oil.

CNBC also recently ran an article about the jobs boom up in North Dakota.  According to CNBC, there are “help wanted” signs all over the place in little towns such as Williston….

Unemployment is a national problem in the U.S., but you wouldn’t know that if you travel through North Dakota.

The state’s unemployment rate hovers around 3 percent, and “Help Wanted” signs litter the landscape of cities such as Williston in the same way “For Sale” signs populate the streets of Las Vegas.

“It’s a zoo,” said Terry Ayers, who drove into town from Spokane, Wash., slept in his truck, and found a job within hours of arrival, tripling his salary. “It’s crazy what’s going on out here.”

If you are desperate for work and you are looking for a “reboot”, North Dakota may be an option for you.  According to CNN, there are a significant number of families that have already changed their lives by heading out to North Dakota….

McMullen now works as a nanny in exchange for housing. Her husband, who worked on behavior management programs for a school system in North Carolina where he took home about $1,600 a month, found a job working in the oilfields where he makes that same amount of money in one week — adding up to an annual salary of about $77,000.

“We want to be debt-free, so we came here to play catch-up,” said McMullen. “But when I came here, I thought I was on Mars. It’s just so crazy that the rest of the country has no jobs, and here’s this one place that doesn’t have enough people to fill all the jobs.”

So is North Dakota for everyone?

Of course not.

First of all, it gets bone-chilling cold in North Dakota in the winter.

If you cannot handle really cold weather then you should not go up there.

Secondly, there is not nearly enough housing in the boom towns and the housing that is available is really expensive.

So you may either have to commute a long way or deal with accommodations that are less than stellar.

North Dakota is very flat, the geography is not very pleasant, there is not much to do there, the “boom towns” are very far from major population centers and moving there would entail major sacrifices for most people.

But there are good jobs up there.

So if you are looking for some good news, you just got some.

Look, it is better to try to do something than to sit around waiting for Barack Obama to save you.  As I have written about previously, the Obama jobs plan is a bad joke and even if it got through Congress it would do very little to create jobs.

The truth is that Barack Obama simply does not know what he is doing when it comes to jobs.  He continues to push for even more job-killing “free trade” agreements that will result in millions more American jobs being shipped overseas.

Barack Obama continues to run around the country talking about “infrastructure jobs”, but according to ABC News, thousands upon thousands of those jobs are actually going to Chinese workers….

In New York there is a $400 million renovation project on the Alexander Hamilton Bridge.

In California, there is a $7.2 billion project to rebuild the Bay Bridge connecting San Francisco and Oakland.

In Alaska, there is a proposal for a $190 million bridge project.

These projects sound like steps in the right direction, but much of the work is going to Chinese government-owned firms.

The sad truth is that the U.S. economy continues to slide even further down the tubes and the vast majority of our politicians have no idea how to fix things.

When Barack Obama first took office, the official U.S. unemployment rate was 7.6 percent.  Today it is 9.1 percent.

There are less jobs in the United States today than there were a decade ago, and the number of good paying jobs continues to shrink.

In 1980, 52 percent of all jobs in the United States were middle income jobs.  Today, only 42 percent of all jobs are middle income jobs.

So don’t sit around waiting for the economy to fix itself.  There is no reason to have blind faith in the system at this point.

We live during unconventional times, and many of us are going to have to find unconventional solutions to our problems.

There are lots of good jobs in the western part of North Dakota.

If you need a job, you might want to look into it.

  • Tim


    From what I’ve read, there is NO housing available in places such as Williston, ND. I checked Craigslist recently, and there were few places for rent and the rents were exorbitant–some as high as $4,000 a month! Many who have moved to ND for jobs in the oil industry are living in “man camps.” I’ve read about others living in campers parked in the Wal-Mart parking lot. However, I did read that residential complexes are under construction. And you are right about the winters there being very cold. Temperatures of 40 to 50 below zero are not uncommon during the winter in Williston, ND. I am not trying to discourage anyone from moving there as this is certainly a viable option for some. But the lack of housing and the brutal winters are some things to consider before doing so. If if weren’t for that, I would go. There’s good money to be made.


    • Michael


      You brought up some excellent points. Anyone that wants to go should really research it first.

      There are jobs there, but it is really, really cold and the housing situation is not good.


    • James

      I wonder how much of that oil that is produced will go to keeping the people there warm?

  • John B.

    After having lived in North Dakota for several years, I can testify that it’s not for everyone. One year in Dec, the temperature never got above 0 degrees. Very cold winters, and very hot summers. The people who grew up there are generally very nice compared to the rest of the country. Mostly of German, and Scandinavian descent.

    Besided the oil, there is also a lot of coal (strip mined), ethanol (corn) production, and tremendous wind power resources.

    There could be an oil boom all over the country if the Obama admin simply allowed drilling off the east and west coasts, ANWR, the Arctic Ocean, and the eastern Gulf. If ND was run by the looney left (banning energy production), it would be just as depressed as the rest of the country.

    • Paul

      Forgot BP?

      Oil leaks are not good for fishing and tourism.

      And without fish you need to get food from elsewhere – how about Texan Oilfields with cattle in between?

      Without the greens you’d be covered in oilslick by now.

  • Back In The Early Eighties, Anchorage Alaska
    Started To Boom, There Was Plenty Of Jobs And A Lack Of Housing And It Was Damn Cold, Probaly Colder Than North Dakota. But People Put Up Tents,Heated Them With Wood Stoves And They Survived Because They Had No Choice Until Permanent Housing Was Built. Let’s Look Back To The Days Of The Settlers, Same Situation,But They Rolled Up There Sleeves And Did The Best They Could With What They Had.If There Is A Will
    There Is Definately A Way, Sacrifices No Doubt Will Have To Be Made,But In Given Time Things Will Get Better. It Sounds Better Than Nothing.

  • Missy

    That makes sense, because Saskatchewan is also booming in oil I hear. If you really wanted to go, but couldn’t find housing why not buy an RV? Here is an article that discribes living in one in the winter.

  • Nostradamus

    Jobs in ND is chump change compared to what Alberta, Canada offers. 40,000 great jobs go bagging. So great is the current and future shortage that the mayor of Calgary traveled all over on job fairs.

    It’s all because of ramping up oil sands production by 100% over a decade. You know oil sand, the ‘unethical’ oil according to US tree-huggers.

    Canada currently exports about 2.5m barrels/day to the US. The plan is to double that. To do that, companies engaged in production are on-track to invest $35 billion, plus $10 billion on a pipeline extension to Texas called Keystone XL (which parallels the current pipeline called Keystone but which terminates before TX).

    Building the Keystone XL will create 30,000 jobs in the US. Refining the additional oil will bring more.

    There is currently a politicized debate on approving the Keystone XL pipeline. Something about Alberta oil, which currently supplies 90% of Canadian and 25% of US consumption, is ‘unethical’. So maybe Canada has been using ‘unethical’ oil for about 60 years ..?

    If Keystone XL is cancelled by the US State department, then Canada will take the money and build a pipeline from Alberta to the BC coast, along with a massive oil tanker port. The oil will go to China, Japan, S Korea, perhaps Taiwan. China has already invested $15 billion in oil sands to make sure certain things happen their way. The 30,000 Keystone XL construction jobs will be transferred to Canada to build the Asia export pipeline. This at a time when Alaska oil has only a few more years. Mexico oil is declining. Saudi oil cost $100/barrel plus half of US military expenses. And Venezuela oil has been nationalized.

    What about Iraqi oil? Well, why don’t you ask G W Bush?

    In a few weeks, the State department will make a decision. Approve Keystone XL to replace Alaska, Mexico and parts of ME oil, create 30,000 jobs, or see future Canadian oil goes to China.

    I don’t think China cares one cent about oil being ‘unethical’.

  • BlueOwl

    From re: the Bakken Oil field, which encompasses not only ND, but also MT and up into Canada.

    Short version: It’s WAY WAY OVER-HYPED and will be a classic Boom-Bust scenario leaving environmental destruction, a few rich men, and many, many poor men.

    “Certainly 3.65 billion barrels of recoverable oil is nothing to sneeze at, but a little perspective is in order. The U.S. currently imports an average of about 10 million barrels of oil per day (for a total of about 3.65 billion barrels of oil per year), so even if all the estimated undiscovered oil in the Bakken formation were extracted today, it would only be enough to wean the U.S. off of crude oil imports for one year. That’s still a good thing, but it’s not nearly “enough crude to fully fuel the American economy for 41 years straight” as claimed above.

    As for the second part of the article, a 2005 study co-authored by James T. Bartis for the RAND Corporation (a nonprofit research organization) noted that estimates had placed upper range of shale oil resources to be found within the Green River Formation range of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming at between 1.5 and 1.8 trillion barrels. However, the report also stated that not all of that oil was recoverable and offered a midpoint estimate of about 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil shale resources. Moreover, the report also noted that even under “high growth assumptions,” an oil shale production level of 1 million barrels per day (about 10% of the amount of oil the U.S. currently imports daily) is “probably more than 20 years in the future,” and depends upon scientists overcoming some substantial obstacles first:
    But development of the resource hinges on overcoming economic, technical and environmental obstacles, Bartis said.

    “No work has been done on the impacts of development and ways to mitigate those impacts,” he said.

    For example, shale development requires large expenditures of water and energy, produces air pollution and carbon emissions and leaves toxic byproducts that could endanger the environment.
    According to news accounts, although new drilling techniques have greatly increased oil production in Bakken formation in recent years, as of February 2011 that region was still yielding less than half a million barrels per day.”

  • bruce2288`

    If you are really desperate? How about if you want opportunity or if you want to support yourself move the north dakota.
    There is not much to do? How about actually seeing the stars at night brighter than anyone from the city can imagine. Learn to hunt or fish, try that in NYC.
    Contrary to your belief there are actually dances, theatres, church and other social events in North Dakota. Maybe people could actually spend some time with their families and get to know them. Hey most people in North Dakota actually know their neighbors too.
    I would also add that interesting landscape is not dependant on mountains or oceans, but sometimes a person has to have the ability to look a little deeper. and no I am not from North Dakota.

  • Robert

    I’ve been thinking about the economic collapse that each day is clearer (at least for us).

    What will happen when the whole system really collapses? Take, for instance, the price of gold. Will it continue high? If the stock markets crash, houses prices go terribly lower, equity markets and pretty much everything is destroyed, what really will be left? I guess that not even gold and silver will keep their value high. There won’t be demand for them because people simply have no money (it was lost).

    The only way I see that these metals can go up is if the central banks around the world keep flooding the markets with cheap money (and they’ll probably keep doing it for long time).

    But what if they don’t? Won’t everything be lost? Am I right?

  • JD


    Finally I have some positive news. After two years of fruitlessly searching for full time work and having to settle for temporary jobs I HAVE A FULL TIME JOB!!!! Starting Monday I will be working in a grain elevator loading corn and filling orders for customers!!!! Im still in shock. Im trying not too get to excited because it feels like a dream but after my years of suffering Im back baby!!! Im sorry athiests but this came straight from God. We went down to the elevator to pick up corn and I noticed that they were building a new shop. I asked the owner who was building it and he said “Why are you looking for work?” “I need a guy right now.” So just like that no resume or application he hired me!! Im totally blown away. I was one of the millions that gave up looking for full-time work and God just put this on my lap. Now if several million more can have a job like me then I will truly be happy. I will pray for anyone that is still unemployed even if you dont like God. There are still miracles out there. What the heck try North Dakota. I got tons of buddies heading over there and there is oil jobs in eastern Montana as well. Think positive no matter what this world throws at ya. It was only a few short months ago when I was homeless. Remember my friends “Its always darkest before the dawn, and the dawn is coming.”

    • Michael

      That is awesome news JD!!

      Perhaps so many of the readers here praying for you made a difference. 😉

      May all of our regular readers that are unemployed be blessed with a good new job soon.


    • Good Old Days

      That is the way it used to be. I found many a job knocking on back doors. The person in charge would say, “can you start right now?”. That was back in the 1970’s and 80’s. No application, no interviews, just an instant job.

  • James

    Obama’s Job’s Bill will not create the number of jobs that the country needs to recover. The road building part is not going to create many jobs mainly because most of the work is mechanized. It only take a few men to do the work that it used to take 30 – 40 men to do in a day. As a geology technician, I can tell you that all of this so called oil boom is a mirage. Drilling off of the coasts will only provide oil for a decade or less, while at the same time create an environmental disaster. Oil production is a really dirty process no matter how careful you are with trying to protect the environment. It only takes a cup of oil to taint 5000 or more gallons of water, and it won’t go away by biological activity for many decades. I would not want to eat any seafood from the Gulf of Mexico for decades. That oil is still out there and it will stay there until the natural processes clean it up which will take a hundred years or more. Technology will not have the ability to do it faster. Our only hope is to learn to live a more non-technological lifestyle, drive less, become more local with food production, and realize that we need to change our definition of, “The American Dream” before it becomes a nightmare.

  • Mitchell Powell

    Having been in that part of ND last august, and working on the oil rigs, yes, there is tons and tons of work. Mcdonalds advertises jobs on the radio! But, yes, housing is scarce, and some of the towns out there have grown so fast that they’ve had to redo entire septic systems. That was Kenemare. Also, services are scarce, inflation is bad (as with all boomtowns), and some of the towns have a policy of trying to stifle growth, such as Minot. The author is right on the money about these. It really is a country for a single man with no family, in my opinion, though you could move there with a family, but it’d be a radical adjustment.

  • Colin

    John B.,

    Is President Richard Nixon a member of the looney left? Under his administration, our state experienced a major oil spill near Santa Barbara. Reacting to this disaster, plus additional environmental disasters that made the news, the president signed laws that protected the environment.

    Is President Ronald Reagan, then a governor of California in 1969, a member of the looney left? He signed laws that protected the environment.

    Here is an article about the 1969 Santa Barbara disaster:


    Though there is much to criticize about the American Jobs Act, according to Moody’s, the act will create 1.9 million jobs and could grow the economy by 2 percent. This is more than the Republicans whose job plan is to get one of their own elected to the presidency in 2012.

  • DownWithLibs

    I think that we can all agree now that the unemployment number isn’t 9.”something”%. I can just see it now, a non Democrat wins the next race and before he (or she) can take the office, the MSM starts to report the real number – 16.”something”% (or worse!) Just watch!!

    • Zedge Hero

      I just feel so sorry for those people who still think in terms of left/right. Down with Libs, It’s not me versus you but us versus them. The MSM doesn’t care who is in office-remember when 9/11 happned and they cancelled the show “That’s my Bush”, Dixie Chicks Ban, and so on on so forth. They even fed your appetite with Faux News. They don’t care about you at all. But I do, so here is my news network because the truth was getting passed over way too much.

      • DownWithLibs

        So you don’t agree that the MSM has been carrying Obama (and before him-Clinton’s) water? You didn’t see RIGHT AFTER the election of 2000 how some REAL economic numbers came out in early Dec. and the MSM took the opportunity to blame Bush for it all before he took office? Yes, I agree none of the MSM or the Politicos care about us, but these types of problems affect elections and can not be ignored or go unchallenged. The day may come when someone who gives a crap is up in the running. I would like most of the public to understand before that time just how the MSM operates.

  • mark

    I have a friend from Oregon that is driving his truck hauling gravel in North Dakota. He is doing well and his wife flys there now and then to visit. You just have to go where the work is if you need a job. I must say that I am glad that I don’t need a job, it is pretty cold in the winter over there.

  • the Beast

    O take me away to where the buffalo roam, and the sky isn’t raining all day, where seldom is heard a discouraging word and the sky is shinning all day…..
    O home on the range……
    (Did I get the lyrics right?)
    But unfortunately this exploration mentality will not last long….
    In the end, one must answer this question: “How much richness does one need?”

  • McKinley Morganfield

    ND, SD, MT, WY, NE, and IA are doing fine compared to the other “57 states”. 😉 Plus, we have low population densities. Come to the north central heart of America. We welcome hard working, entrepreneurial minded people. Vote with your feet!

  • ScoutMotto

    One reason I’ve heard for their local prosperity is that they use a state-run bank for financing. Does anyone know if other states do this?

  • Chris Finstad

    My wife and I live in Fargo. We were recently voted the worst weather city in the U.S. and it is very true. Our weather is hellish, but the job market is descent. There is one bad thing though. Most of the jobs in Fargo and other cities in ND don’t pay very well so you and your wife well have to work. None of my friends that live here (almost all college grads in their 20’s) are able to support a family on one income.
    One more thing. The people here are extremely nice. I have been to 35 states and have never met nicer people than here. So, come at your own risk!

  • Nexus789

    Also ND is the only State in the US with a public bank that has not been destroyed by the Wall Street debt machine. The Bank of ND probably acts as a catalyst to stimulate growth in ND. Close down the Federal Reserve and create a national public bank in the US.

  • jason born

    north dakota oil driven and agriculture unemployment will always be lower, folks gotta eat and drive. just hope oil prices stay high. if not north dakota , texas, ok. will see unemplyment soar through the this economy $80 oil isn’t sustainable

  • Pat

    Great Blog Michael – I honestly don’t buy this learned helplessness attitude. Sure it is hard economic times and about to get worse. But there are tons of opportunities for people who are able to see through the fog of financial deception.

    This opportunity in North Dakota is a good example. But the powers that be definitely are trying to trap the masses so that they can once again be duped into a failure mentality. If anyone needs work may I recommend you join my friends and me at KB Gold as a distributor. Please don’t bore me with the news that gold has crashed. The fact is that gold rose 800% over the last 10 years and is grossly undervalued. Further the financial fundamentals support gold and silver as a “buy”. Many people are already into precious metals as a hedge.

    How do you want to look at it? If you predicted that gold and silver were going to explode upward you would have a good chance of being right. People would call you a genius. Maybe even you would be invited to appear on a talk show as a guest.

    But the fact that gold and silver will go up is a “no brainer”. It does not take a big leap of faith to come to that conclusion. The fact is that gold and silver must go up as much as a balloon filled with air must float on a pool of water. No matter how much you push the balloon down it must go up. The fundamentals are there and the fact that the public are so unaware of the nature of financial markets is alarming.

    If it is a foregone conclusion that gold and silver must go up why are there so few members of the public buying it. Don’t get me wrong, thousands of people have already bought gold and silver. But as a percentage of the population it is very low. Less than 1% by some estimates. Could it be the false reality promulgated by TV and Films that somehow paper currency is as good as real money?

    Let me bring this bit of reality to your mind. There is an element in our society that believes in order for them to be wealthy you have to be poor. This element believes that wealth is a function of haves and have nots. They do not believe in abundance for all. In other words, the richer they are the poorer you must be.

    My view is different. They can think what they like. I am going to inform as many people as I can about how to use gold and silver to not only protect themselves but to actually thrive during supposedly difficult economic times. There are no secrets here. If you understand how money works and how to use gold and silver as a hedge there is no way you can be victimized. On the other hand if you buy into the fake paradigm you are going to be financially slaughtered.

    Some of you may be asking why did gold and silver decline in values recently. Did it ever occur to you that someone was trying to scare you away from gold and silver and reinforce the dominance of their fake paper money? They use the same old scare tactics every time. Think about all the different times they used scare tactics to manipulate the public into behaving a certain way. Daily you are made to believe that the world will end and that some group or another are going to take your freedoms. And that you are too fat or too thin or too old or too young.

    The very same people who are warning you of impending doom seem to be the guys who are causing so much grief, pain and worry. My advice is to ignore them. Do the opposite of what they say. Do they have your best interest at heart? Or are they just trying to frighten you into doing what they want so they can take all the gold and silver for themselves. Meanwhile, at the same time causing millions to suffer trying hold on to worthless pieces of paper. Most people just want to be left alone. But these folks won’t leave you alone. They want to keep you bogged down with bureaucratic nonsense while they exempt themselves of any responsibilities. If that is the case why do you still listen to them?

    I know its hard for many right now. But those who suffer the most did exactly what they were told and look what happened to them. They were unaware that a trick was being played on them and they listened to the TV instead of seeking an appropriate response to the challenge at hand. In my house we have a saying, “Only a fool relies on a TV to get his information”. Thankfully and for my kids sake we have no TV. What will you do? Do you believe there is nothing you can do or do you believe that you can meet any challenge if you know the right response?

    As an American living abroad I have a different perspective than most. I see the American people as the most resourceful, well informed population on the planet. For sure better informed than Europeans. But we have one really bad flaw. We tend to follow instead of lead. Americans like to be in a mob of people. We look for the most popular answer or candidate instead of the most correct. This is a time for correctness not popularity. Don’t get that confused. True skill is not something you will learn about on the nightly news.

    I am suggesting that the correct response to a financial challenge is to become vested in gold and silver. There are plenty of financal experts that agree. Failure to become vested will undoubtedly result in disaster for you and your family. The gold strategy is on that everybody should use whether in an urban setting or a rural community.

    Go to: to find out how to buy and store gold cheaply and affordably. Or go to . And if you need a job become a distributor.

  • robby_mnemonic

    Here in Michigan, the job situation has been bad since the late ’70’s. In 1980 I moved to the Williston Basin area, I was 18. I went from hopeless to making 52k a year, in less than 4 days.
    Yep the winters are brutal, the wind never stops blowing, and the water isn’t good either. You can’t eat a sandwich there without keeping it in a baggie while you eat it….. bread will turn to stale dry crust immediately. Indoors or out.
    The people of ND are some of the most honest, hard working, and friendly folks you will ever meet in America.
    I left N.D. and went home to Michigan after the drilling rig that I worked on had a blowout, and spit 15,000 feet of 15″ drill pipe out of the hole, and down on the crew and company hands. A nurse at the hospital told me that the money was not worth losing an arm, or getting killed over. I agreed, and went home.
    Yeah there’s good money working in ND, but that’s about it.

  • knightowl77

    We could have booms all over this country if the government would just get out of the way. If the EPA and the Dept of the Interior would just let us drill, we could finally be independent of Middle East Oil, some 40 years after Jimmy Carter stated that was our goal…LOL

  • Margaret Marty

    How about the locals who are being squeezed out of their homes by landlords jacking up their rent. I went to Walmart and heard several stories of their landlords telling them they needed to raise their rent. These are the people who work at McDonalds and Walmart, who can no longer afford to live in Williston. They are forced with either leaving or homelessness. This is the dark side of Williston’s economic boom. I saw an entire family living in a camper. The help wanted signs are for all the minimum wage jobs no one can afford to live on.
    Being poor was rough to begin with but here it is impossible. We chose to stay in Montana and my husband lives in a mancamp. This was a cheaper arrangement. The new complexes are still ridiculously expensive as are all the new houses being built. Until they get the housing figured out you will probably be filling your own order at Mcdonalds.

  • NickyG

    How does one go about finding these oil jobs?

  • tome22

    North Dakota as well as Montana the state to the West both have a future of unprecedented proportion.The rock formation referred to as “Bakken” stretches 14,000 sq.miles encompassing North Dakota,Montana and Canada.Montana has a population of about 675,000 people,has a work force of 374,000 and an unemployment number of 13,000 giving it the lowest unemployment rate of 3.5%.Montana is also 2nd in wheat production,4th largest oil producer after Texas, Alaska, and California,9th in soybean production and 13th in corn production.The medium household income in $47,827,the change in household income was up +32.9% and the poverty line in 11.7% which is about 33,000 a bit to high for such statistics.Montana also produces 97% of all flaxseed in the US as well as 91% of all canola in the US. US Geological Survey says there are at least 4 billion barrels of recoverable oil, but other estimates indicate it could be 4 to 5 times that,20 billions barrels @$100.a barrel(apprx)! With that said there are other factors that 1 should consider before imbarking on an adventure of a lifetime.

    Besides the extremes of cold and heat, and the lack of housing,(there is also a housing boom) the method by which this oil is going to be retreived is by a method called “hydraulic fracturing” whereby the oil company first will drill vertically and at a certain depth will then drill horizontally,at which time they force large amount of water and chemicals through the rock separating it and are then able to access the oil. At this point I’m not going to comment on the pros and cons of “hydraulic fracturing” just to say that as of now there are little to non existent regulation covering such a method, but regulation will come soon and when they do will effect the rate of employment for the state since oil companies will be forced to slow there rate of new wells and all that goes with it. To continue,a biproduct of “hydraulic fracturing” is the release of natural gas that is then burned off(they look like candles in the night)and as a result 30% of all natural gas produced in North Dakota is burned off as waste.No other major domestic oil field currently flares close to that much, though the practice is still common in countries like Russia, Nigeria and Iran. Again, I will not debate the pros and cons but I will say that there is a company on the ground floor attempting to harness the natural gas release by the name of Cheniere Energy who hopes to eventually export the excess gas in liquefied form. Also a Colorado company Whiting, are investing $3 billion over the next three years in pipelines and several large processing plants to deliver gas to Midwest markets rather than burn it. The company is rapidly expanding oil drilling while building and expanding two plants to process its own gas as well as gas produced by others. While the projects by Whiting and others could reduce flaring over the next two years, some executives acknowledge that it will be a continuing problem as the industry increases the number of wells in the area from 5,000 to a projected 48,000 over the next 20 years. Whiting Petroleum is constructing a 24-inch gas pipe from a gas gathering site near Belfield, N.D., to a processing plant it is building nearby.
    Whiting sees particular value in the gas found here because it contains large amounts of propane and butane that it can extract and sell at a profit in addition to the gas itself.

    Now even with a successful extraction of oil how is the oil going to get to the refineries in south most of which are in Texas and the Gulf of Mexico area. With the Keystone Pipeline of course. A 1,700-mile artery extending
    from Alberta to Texas refineries at the Gulf of Mexico. Because it would cross the U.S.-
    Canadian border at Montana, the Keystone pipeline would also carry stranded American oil that is flowing in large quantities from shale deposits in Montana and North Dakota. Another thing: the Keystone pipeline would create 20,000 American jobs and nearly 120,000 indirect jobs as well as increase revenues for state and local governments along its route.
    The pipeline is expected to open in 2013 unless delayed by lawsuits or other challenges

    With all that said the future of North Dakota,Montana and Canada seem quite bright and for anyone of you who are up to a challenge, and a better life for you and yours.

  • BraneFrees

    In the early 70’s I worked on the construction of the new Jim Bridger Power Plant east of Rock Springs, Wyoming.

    My data is likely somewhat skewed, but not terribly so, I think.

    Rock Springs was a dead little town of around +/- 2000 people that exploded to around 9000 due to the new plant.

    Housing was scare as chicken lips and way overpriced. There were tent cities and makeshift trailer parks galore to handle the influx of itinerant construction workers, some with their families. It was a sight to behold.

    The price of everything was high, winters cold (-40 and very windy), summers hot, local police amazingly corrupt (you would get a speeding ticket for going 1 mph over the limit)and life in general was….. interesting.

    I would expect the North Dakota boom to be somewhat similar. Glad I don’t have to consider it.

  • If Obummer had focused on job creation instead of healthcare, we could have a huge industry of people working in the alternative energy fields.

    This would have created lots of jobs and products to improve our GDP and our economy. And it would have reduced our dependence on other countries for oil.

    But the elite, who own the oil companies, really don’t want alternatives that would reduce the demand for their oil.

    • DownWithLibs

      You STILL

      • DownWithLibs

        You STILL believe that he has always had this country’s best interest at heart? Dude!!!!!

        • Hey DownWithLibs, I understand your point.

          My statement wasn’t one of support for him or belief that he has our country’s best interest at heart!

          In the ‘ideal’ world, he should have focused on job creation and alternative energy industries.

          In the ‘real’ world, he’s promoting the agenda of the financial elite.

          So what’s the solution?

  • The migration of population has long been a part of human history (the last big shift in America began with the First Great Depression and ended when World War Two concluded and the boom of factory jobs subsided). Unfortunately, it used to be that people were going someplace to build a future (even if they were running from bad circumstances), but now they are running out of desperation, looking for one of the last places in this country where there is any hope of making a living. Like everything else, this will eventually collapse as the rest of the nation collapses, taking down the industrial world with it. We need to start preparing for a very ugly and uncertain future.

    Visit the Leibowitz Society at for discussion on our ongoing collapse, as well as a program for preserving our valuable knowledge for a future age.

  • jobs jobs jobs

    There are plenty of high tech jobs where i live too. I get recruiter emails almost daily that say something like “I have more positions than candidates”. No sub zero or BFE tolerance required. I’d say where but I’m afraid of attracting progressives and we really dont want more of that poison here.

  • doomster

    First good news I’ve seen on this blog in ages 🙂 True, anywhere that there are many jobs there will be higher expenses, unfortunately. Still, I wish I was making $15/hour to serve tacos, I might even take a trip to the gold vending machine:

  • I recently watched a news report on the ‘man camps’ in North Dakota. Wow, it’s definitely not for everyone.

    But for the right people, it looks like a great opportunity to make big money and get ahead on their finances.

  • This sounds like the Grapes of Wrath. California then is now North Dakota. I am afraid that by the time your reader gets up there the jobs will be gone.

  • Entrepreneurs could make a lot of money catering to the needs of all the people working in the oil fields of ND.

    Saddle up! 🙂

  • Stolengoat

    Anyone that appreciates the dire consequences of our current economic situation must listen to this song by “Rage Against the Machine.” It is absolutely worth your time. Here are the lyrics to the Song “Ghost of Tom Joad” underneath. Please go to youtube and listen to the song it will send shivers down your spine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Man walks along the railroad tracks
    He’s goin’ someplace, and there’s no turnin’ back
    The highway patrol chopper comin’ up over the ridge
    Man sleeps by a campfire under the bridge
    The shelter line stretchin’ around the corner
    Welcome to the New World Order
    Families sleepin’ in their cars out in the Southwest
    No job, no home, no peace, no rest
    No rest!

    The highway is alive tonight
    Nobody’s foolin’ nobody as to where it goes
    I’m sitting down here in the campfire light
    Searchin’ for the ghost of Tom Joad

    He pulls his prayer book out of his sleepin’ bag
    The Preacher lights up a butt and takes a drag
    He’s waitin’ for the time when the last shall be first and the first shall be last
    In a cardboard box ‘neath the underpass
    With a one way ticket to the promised land
    With a hole in your belly and a gun in your hand
    Searching for a pillow of solid rock
    Bathin’ in the city’s aquaduct

    The highway is alive tonight
    Nobody’s foolin’ nobody as to where it goes
    I’m sittin’ down here in the campfire light
    With the Ghost of old Tom Joad

    Now Tom said, “Ma, wherever you seen a cop beatin’ a guy
    Wherever a hungry newborn baby cries
    Wherever there’s a fight against the blood and hatred in the air
    Look for me Ma, I’ll be there
    Wherever somebody’s strugglin’ for a place to stand
    For a decent job or a helpin’ hand
    Wherever somebody’s strugglin’ to be free
    Look in their eyes, Ma, you’ll see me”
    You’ll see me (x8)

    The highway is alive tonight
    Nobody’s foolin’ nobody as to where it goes
    I’m sittin’ down here in the campfire light
    With the ghost of Tom Joad

  • Zoltanne

    The “plan” has been to FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORM AMERICA. The Dark Lord and his evil-doers know exactly what they are doing. To dismiss the Administration’s actions is foolish.

  • Peter

    Michael: i found a very interesting website about the economic collapse 2011, check this: Stankov’s Universal law and the economic collapse, tell me your opinion.Thanks. Pedro, the Cuban from Miami.

  • Prepping for the Future

    I live in ND and your timing for this article is wrong time of the year. Many of the camper type areas close down Oct 15. Housing is a nightmare. If anyone is thinking of coming I would plan for next spring unless housing and the job is found together. Weather is rough and you need a survival kit in your car for the winter. You might only get 2 inches of snow but it blows the road close in spots and with out a good 4 wheel drive truck a shovel and some luck you can easily get stuck out in the middle of no where.. I have walked home a mile in the howling wind when it 40 below insulated cover all where a solid sheet of ice. You can’t imagine what the wind is like here in the winter. Just be careful folks.


  • San

    The Elitists are now opening up the oil wells which they discovered long time ago. Soon they will not need to import from Saudi Arabia. The price will go up to USD200 per barrel. They will sell at this price and make themselves filthy rich, on top of being filthy rich now.

  • ND Native

    I’ve lived in Williston all my life. Don’t believe the hype the media is trying to sell! There is almost no housing here and the “good” jobs are greatly exaggerated!

  • We are all victims of the bubble economy is one way or another. North Dakota is doing well. Great. There’s not enough room for everyone in Dakotas and the Bakken is not our national salvation. We need an economy run by us, not by corporatist cronies and banksters.

    Thomas Jefferson said,”If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered.”

    North Dakota isn’t the answers. Restoring sound money, local economies, and personal liberty is.


    • knightowl77

      You mean like the Federal Gov’t paying farmers NOT to grow crops to keep the prices high? Instead of buying the food and distributing it to the poor, we (the taxpayers) paid people not to plant…

  • JJ

    There really must be jobs up there because I live in either the 2nd or 3rd worst job market in the United States (St. Louis, MO). I think only Stockton, CA and Detroit, MI are worse off. Anyway, companies like Halliburton are recruiting around here for people to work up there in Williston. I’m sure they are finding the help they need. Recently a casino opened up here and was hiring for 800 positions. They ended up getting 64,000 applications, and the majority of the jobs barely paid minimum wage.

  • JD


    Your slightly off on Montana’s population. We have close to a million residents and we have a close to 8% unemployment rate. The job that I just got over 200 people wanted that job. I dont call it luck but a blessing from the Lord. Thank you to my fellow readers for your prayers. I do believe in its power. Montana is just like the rest of the country. Ive been searching for full time work for over two years and it been just as hard as anywhere else. It is highly competetive for work here Ive gone to job interviews where there was 50 other people there. But like I said before try not to get discouraged. Have faith somehow we’re going to get through this. 🙂

  • nowwthen

    If we ever get around to using compressed natural gas and liquified natural gas as a motor fuel we will have North Dakota style booms all over the country. There are hundreds of trillions of cubic feet of natural gas trapped within the enormous shale formations deep below the surface. The Marcellus Shale, the Utica Shale, the Haynesville Shale, the Eagle Ford Shale the Barnett Shale, the Woodford Shale and others could supply us with enough natural gas to power our vehicles for a hundred years. These stretch throughout New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio as well as Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas. Some of the residents of those states would like to be in the situation North Dakota is in right now. If our leaders in Washington weren’t so preoccupied bickering with one another they could move on legislation to allow our country to use this gas to replace much of the oil we import. One of the commenters brought up the issue of the large amounts of water being used to recover this gas during the fracking process. There is growing use of waterless technology that fractures shale to release the gas trapped within it by using gelled propane in place of water. The propane is then recovered from the well along with the natural gas.
    The jobs created to work on this transition would number in the millions.

  • 007

    Isn’t that where Fargo was filmed. In an economic collapse you might freeze to death and ice fish for your dinner.

  • 007

    I don’t know about North Dakota if things totally fall apart. But how about the beautiful Cook Islands which are N.W. Of Australia? Beautiful tropical island and the countries constitution was written by U.S. Tax lawyers. There is no Income tax and virtually no regulation. Reasonable cost of living. And the cherry on the Sunday, they have no central bank. I think that’s where I might relocate when the fit hits the sham.

  • Come to the Garden State

    Come to The Garden State, everything is cheaper, gas prices are about 3.29 gallon, food is definately cheaper then what most of you are posting on here.
    Rents are between 650-2400, depending how close you are to NYC area and the higher pay scale levels associated with it.
    It is a little crowded in certain parts but that is good because it means more business more competition.
    Health care jobs are booming and pay well up to $45 an hour, because the Garden Sate has mostly old people.
    Lot’s of part time, temp work avail, pays about 12-15 an hour or basic skill workers,
    The Garden Sate is unattractive in and around the Industrial areas which are closer to NYC, but once you travel about a half hour to 1 hour north, west, and south you are in some incredible natural beauty, oceans, lakes, forests, country farm lands, yes we even have mountains.
    Unfortunately like the rest of the country full time work is hard to come by.

    I think everyone on this Blog site should post the pros and cons of their individual states.

  • Paul

    Visit a hiker’s shop. They have sleeping bags and tents and cookers and underwear, etc. etc.

    If it gets colder than minus 10degC at night you need to cover your nose under the blanket or you wake up every now and then. During the day work will keep you warm.

  • Maria

    “There is no reason to have blind faith in the system at this point.

    We live during unconventional times, and many of us are going to have to find unconventional solutions to our problems.”

    The system will fail, because the fiat system masters designed it to fail. We are in the final phases of collapse. And now we run like rats to the cheese…wherever the last of the fiat is good.

    The only way to survive the fiat rat trap is to remove yourself from the system as much as possible. Think unconventionally. Stock up on food, water and any other necessities while fiat still buys them. If you have the ability, exchange your excess fiat for gold and silver. The fiat system is dying. Gold and silver money will be conventional again soon.

    This video explains why.

  • Paul

    Go there for two years, live like Ghandhi, take the money and build a nice concrete home on a Mountain where it is not too cold in Winter and not too hot in Summer, and you need neither airconditioning nor heating. Make sure your home doesn’t get blown away by wind or washed away by flooding and landslides.

    And then – enjoy life.

    • Nancy

      Exactly what we have chosen to do. Gonna follow it over & down & buy & build in Wyoming in 3-5 yrs.

  • MountainHome

    Most people would prefer to stay unemployed right where they live than move and seek out a job. That we can congradulate the USG for as people continue to stay on welfare and food stamps and free housing.

  • comnenus

    Since it’s cold, there are going to be fewer NAM going their either. For some reason NAMs prefer warmer climates.

  • JanZizka

    Great post, Michael! Nodak isn’t the only state thats booming, some parts of MT and WY are doing quite well too. My father owns his truck and home in the gas fields of WY and is doing quite well at it, enough so that I may well join him despite having an excellent job where I am already and a part time gig for spare money.

    The bottom line is, there are jobs out there, they may not be the best jobs or the ones that you really want to do but if you are willing to work and make the needed changes you can prosper even now. Driving truck or working as a roughneck aren’t for everybody but as you point out with citations there are good paying jobs in other fields, even waiting tables. Living arrangements can be problematic but adjust as you must, its not much fun sharing a room with someone or living out of a truck or trailer but it can be done and that is the point, to save on your necessities so you can keep more of the money you are making. In any event, as you’ve pointed out before, what we have now will be riproaring prosperity compared to what is coming, and I would include the above living arrangements in that definition of relative prosperity. Compared to what many are used to its pretty tough, but compared to some of the things I’ve seen in even the other ‘1st World’ countries out there it is absolute luxury.

    Of course, I think we’re nearing the terminal point in this Monopoly money game anyways but for the time being do what you can, if you can pile up more fiat $s and turn those into something that has tangible value then by all means do so!

  • GlennA

    Thanks for giving this some attention. A lot us are sick of the mainstream media, whose real purpose is to grasp whatever straw they can to try and make Barack Obama look good, is always shoving North Dakota in our face.

    The bulk of the people truly left out of the labor market have no business in North Dakota. As a 48 year-old guy with a bad back and severe diabetes, what exactly could I do in North Dakota?

    Maybe they’ll let me be Chief Oil Verification Specialist Grade I – as the oil comes out of the ground I can stand there and say “Yep, sure looks like oil to me.”

    Oil field jobs are for people a lot younger and a lot healthier than I am. Why can’t my own home, that has had jobs for guys like me for 200 years now no longer have a job for me? Why must I go 1,600 miles to the frozen tundra of North Dakota at 48 years-old? I’m not qualified to do anything there. Or maybe I can help that lady – Assistant Nanny Specialist Grade I.

    • Jeff

      GlenA, I am 54 and work in the oil patch in Alaska.

    • The Claymobile

      GlennA, i agree with you. I am a 59 year old man with a screwed up back and arthritis in my knees and sholders. What could I do in the oil fields around Williston N. D. ? Another thing that bothers me about these news stories about jobs in the oil fields is you will be working 80-100 hrs. A week!!! Ask yourself this question, ” how long would you last, working 100 hours a week?” The answer is not very long. I would encourage people to ask themselves that question before they make the long drive to N. D..

  • What everyone doesn’t understand is that our current way of life is unsustainable, because it was only created by the greatest debt bubble in the entire history of the human race. All the
    jobs that were created by this bubble are never going to come back, just as all the fake
    wealth in housing and the stock market evaporated ( a good expression for it is the money went to money heaven). Europe will soon implode and the number of unemployed will skyrocket from 20 to 40 million. Our way of life is coming to an end and the only jobs left
    will be producing food, clothing, and shelter.
    So in the end, we go back to an agrarian way of
    living (we all become farmers). Thank you so much Michael for raising awareness that our bought and paid for mainstream media refuse to
    acknowledge. If they ever did, mass panic would

    • 101st Airborne Division

      a.p…I hear ya…my only concern is when. I’ve prepped for 2 years…have everything I could possibly need to include 100 acres way outside any metro area…underground bunker stocked with food for 8 for 2 years…grains/rice/beans/salt/flour etc…about 1000 home canned quarts..chickens/pigs/beef/fish pond/guns/ammo little metal bars/ingots…all with a 3000 sq ft greenhouse set up to produce year round…now what? Sit and wait?

      • Just live as you always do and when the SHTF, you’ll be in a position to help your fellow man. That’s all God wants us to do anyway.

  • thinkaboutit

    Let’s get it straight, what the jobs problem really is… very simple, there simply isn’t enough need to build and/or service the goods and services needed by the consuming people. Said another simple way… We have enough butchers, bakers and candlestick makers. And to make matters worse we out sourced candlestick manufacturing to china.
    Industry for 100’s of years has been inventing ways of doing more with less workers, simple example, we don’t have offices full of people figuring out and hand typing the company’s payroll anymore, they simpley have a computer to do that for them. – Get the picture
    And all the money in the world is not going to fix that problem.
    Add to this, that fact that our monatary systems is such that all money created is created thru this issuence of debt – if you don’t fully understand that and its ramifications you haven’t a chance at ever understand the economy or politics, and/or realizing how much you are being bs’ed by the media and lying politicians everyday of the week.
    I’m not saying any of the above is correct, right or wrong or whatever, I’m just saying that’s the way it is.

  • thinkaboutit

    And to add to my previous post – we did manage as a nation to create new jobs in new technologies for people as time went along, instead of candlestick makers, people became electrians, computer programmers, – but sooner or later that effect begins to wane, and that is what we are seeing now – new technolgies are being invented and employing people, but it is simply not enough.
    We managed to circumvent this problem recently with the housing/mortgage bubble – lots of people doing lots of things – unfortunately they were doing a lot of things that in the end not enough people needed – meaning building a bunch of houses that there really was no market for. It was, in many respects a false economy and an economy grasping at straws to sustain itself.
    The republicans and democrates sold us all down the river, they both stood by, watched and encouraged the out-source of our livelyhoods, and now for them to stand up there and offer up solutions is without question absolutely ludicrous.

  • NickLMA

    Why goto North Dakota?? Just come to Massachusetts (east of I 495) in the Boston area. There are tons of jobs, tons of unfilled positions in IT, Finance & Accounting. Of course you will have to deal with record high rents, awful winters & super rude people (ruder than NY’ers) and get used to replacing your auto suspension every 30,000 miles due to the conditions of the roads but finding a job paying in the six figures is easy fro anyone with a college degree here

    • Jean

      Sorry, but I call BS on that “finding a job paying in the six figures is easy fro anyone with a college degree here”! With something like over 60 major degree granting institutions in the area, a “college degree” alone is worth about toilet paper.

      I grew up in MA and lived in the Boston metro area most of my adult life. I have an MS and do computer programming (SAS) and data analysis for public health for the City of Boston, and the most I ever got paid was about $42K. Low salary for the expected background and skills because of all the people graduating from Harvard etc. every year with same.

      Rents when I left (lived in Somerville) were doubling every year if people left an apartment, so for those of us who stayed in one place the rents would go up at least 10% a year and I’d be luck if my salary went up 2%. Finally got disgusted with sliding down the slippery slope … and left in 2001 (never to return!).

    • leary

      B.S. on MA jobs. I am older but have a biz degree and decent experience, and I am driving a bus for low to mid teen$, and lucky to have it. Why hire an old fart like me, when you can get a younger kid who does not know your games and may stay around longer. And yes, it is expensive. RE North Dakota, I looked into it, and it seems housing is the real issue, there is none.

    • Nancy

      Not everyone can do the “business work” either & don’t be so sure the ppl there are any ruder than the ppl here…buncha assholes!

  • NickLMA

    Even the low six figures isn’t much here. Your rent goes up 10% a year because of these college grads have the money to pay the rents that are being asked. Most of kids going to BU, BC & Tufts are paying ‘sticker price’ courtesy of mummy & daddy so they use their cash for more important things (ex. $500 a week for booze, and North Face Coats & designer clothing)


  • Randall

    Don’t forget… As you get these new jobs in ND, when you fill out your W-4 Form for Taxes and you fill out the part that asks you for your Deductions, put 8… 9 is the legal limit and will get you an Audit… but 8 Deductions will save most if not all of your salary… It is the Law that you file your Taxes, but there is no law that you pay… It will go to collections and you can negotiate with the Bill Collector to .25 cents on the dollar… or better… maybe as low as .10 cents… just depends on your negotiating skills…

    • NDNative

      Yeah, you’re intelligent… You tell people how to avoid paying taxes and then you tell them it is better to let it go to collections? Just another reason why our economy is in the mess it’s in. You disgust me.

  • Deuce

    The author starts out good, but then at the end slips into a rant that makes it sound like he wants to go back to the days before this mess, as if those very same days weren’t the ones that CAUSED IT. In a global society you will not avoid dealing with people. The two ways you can deal with them is to go to war, or to trade with them. If you trade with them they will depend on you and not go to war with you. In choosing the former we currently spend 1/3 of our entire GDP on the military. It hurts my brain to read AN ECONOMIC BLOG that can’t do the math and see that free trade is infinitely superior option than our extravagant and ongoing war costs. Especially when at the exact second of this writing, war costs have completely destroyed our economy. We are literally BORROWING MONEY TO STAY AT WAR, and an economist is telling us about that free trade is bad, because our money or labor may cross some arbitrary, government defined border, ignoring the fact that we would be free to follow it.

    You guys had me then lost me. The high times we enjoyed in the 20th century were an illusion perpetuated on lies and funded by extravagant and thoughtless borrowing against the here and now. I have no desire to go back. And the idea that this should give us so much pride that we further bankrupt ourselves by arming our shores against invasions of reasonably priced consumer goods, is equally ridiculous. The best government propagandist is envious. ********** article. Thanks for the heads up on ND, but you should have stopped there….

  • thinkaboutit

    Refering back to me previously posted comments about understanding how our monetary system works and how it is tied to our national debt, and how if you don’t understand that than you haven’t a clue about what’s going on….
    now with that in mind, poster Deuce is a perfect example when he states “BORROWING MONEY TO STAY AT WORK” – he obviously hasn’t a clue how our monetary system works.
    Here’s a clue, the national debt IS the money supply, that has to be created in order for there to by any liquidy(money) in the world, and there is no intention of ever paying it back, to do so would suck all of the money out of the system and leave the world with no way to do commerce. But, don’t take my word for it, read, research and find out for yourself.

  • thinkaboutit

    PS: excuse me I miss state Deuce’s comment, it should read “BORROWING MONEY TO STAY AT WAR”

  • badlander

    It is interesting that you say ND is flat. It isn’t. Ironically, the oil areas are almost exclusively in the North Dakota Badlands. I live outside of Williston, the boom bulls-eye. You can’t find a piece of land where I live that is flat. I can’t get up my driveway in the winter w/o 4 wheel drive. A little research is a good idea 😉

    As to the boom. If you don’t have a place to live in advance, Do NOT COME UP HERE!!!!!! I cannot stress that point enough. If you try and come up here and live in a tent, you will find yourself in a very bad situation. People-cicle comes to mind.

    North Dakota has never had a homeless population to speak of so there isn’t an extensive shelter system.

    If you don’t have an extremely healthy work ethic, DO NOT COME UP HERE. You won’t be tolerated. Whiners and the lazy are not welcomed with open arms up here. This is the land of sod busters, ranchers and roughnecks. EVERYBODY works and gives their all to that work.

    If you expect for govt daddy to take care of you, DO NOT COME UP HERE. In addition to little tolerance for the lazy and the whiners, there is very little tolerance for those who are able bodied on any kind of govt assistance. It is not seen as shameful exactly, as there isn’t a bias against those that need it, but you are expected to work, whether it is the job you love, or cleaning toilets. You don’t sit around and take unemployment if you are capable of working.

    If you want to come from California and try and change ND to California, DO NOT COME UP HERE. North Dakotans know it gets cold. They think you are a little slow if you think you need to inform them of that. They are too polite to say it to your face, but they will immediately put you in that “slow” category.

    There is no fence around North Dakota. North Dakotans travel and live out of state. They come back or stay because they love North Dakota. They don’t want it to be California. If they wanted to have a California environment they would move to California, so don’t try and change North Dakota to what you left.

    If you cannot respect the elderly, women, children, etc, DO NOT COME UP HERE. There is a very strong family attitude here. North Dakotans respect and take care of their elders, women and children and those that are seen as vulnerable. If you come up here to be a rude ass, you will not find your time here a pleasant experience.

    If you are a rude ass, DO NOT COME UP HERE. North Dakotans are extremely polite and expect you to be polite as well. North Dakotans look you in the eye, hold doors for you, say thank you. You will be expected to be polite as you are up here as well.

    I am not a native North Dakotan. I am originally from California and my husband is from Michigan. When he retired from the military here in North Dakota, we stayed. We love it here. The people, the scenery(you cannot imagine the beauty of a badland sunset), the freedom to live as you choose to live w/o the govt constantly butting into your business.

    On the flip-side, it can get colder than one can ever imagine, but those tend to be short bursts of cold. If you are from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, etc, you won’t find the average winter temp all that much different than the average winter temp in ND.

    I LOVE it here. We are a small state, but are all in it together, good or bad. You have to come up here and be willing to become a North Dakotan during your time here vs trying to change ND to what you left.

    • RedRiverValleyer

      Writing from the flat (oil-less) part of ND… I agree entirely with this post. There is no “boom” in the Eastern half of the state, but there is no bust either. Jobs are very easy to find here, Bismarck and Fargo always make the top 5 cities in the nation for lowest unemployment. You won’t find the wages like you would out in Western ND (or any major city really), but the cost of living doesn’t really rise much at all… and unlike the oil fields, housing is very easy to find. If you’re willing to live without major city luxuries for a few years, you can definitely get ahead.

    • Nancy

      I disagree with the welcoming part. I’ve never met more rude locals in my life & I’ve moved around most of my life. I am here with my family…kids & husband…and we work hard. Always have. Locals shun because their “land was invaded” & outsiders are all scared to talk because heaven forbid we offend a local. It’s sad really. We came here because our business was slowing down to the point it could no longer feed our family & house them. We made the decision to find work, wherever & whatever, so we could support our kids without government assistance & all we catch is hell for being here. Locals can kiss it, we dislike it just as much as they do & we are sorry the work just happens to be “in their neck of the woods” but a family’s gotta survive. So just as soon as we’ve “ratholed” enough to buy a ice home on some land somewhere friendlier, we’ll be outta your hair. Until then, I’ll respect you, your land & your family and I hope you can handle doing the same.

      • NDNative

        We are God-fearing, hard working people! Many of these oil workers live in our parking lots, leaving their pissed-filled jugs on the ground, garbage everywhere. Our crime rate has gone up 600%. Matter of fact in the last 3 months we have had 5 murders that have been proven to be because of the oil boom (one young lady we knew personally). So you can step down from your pedestal and try walking in our shoes! Even with all this happening around us, we are friendly people so I don’t appreciate you bad-mouthing us! You obviously had a bad interaction with someone and who’s to say it was a local, Huh? How do you know you weren’t dealing with someone that moved out here the same as you? We are not going to be rude just because you are from out of state. If you really have a problem here, it is probably because you are dealing with people who are not originally from here.

    • NDNative

      Very well said! And you are not even a ND native, but I’m glad to hear that you love ND! Newcomers need to see the beautiful green rolling hills in the summer and see the Medora Musical!

  • jay

    Interesting read and articles,,,my neck is sore. Off to the rainbox so I can get ready for my $7.25 an hour gig with Imaginary Commissions..Adios campers…North Dakota…Carhart Central.

  • moemax


  • Benlomand

    I left sunny California for Pennsylvania where I worked in heavy industry for 20+ years.

    After that, I decided to move south to Florida where I’ve been for the past 10 years.

    You can keep the cold, I’m sure ND people are a hardly lot, as we PA mountain people saw ourselves.

    I’ll just stay a beach bum pussy. When the SHTF at least I won’t freeze to death.

  • FrankLloydReich

    FRACKING . Is that a good thing ? By all accounts I’ve heard ( GASLAND for one ) it’s a bad thing . Pure and simple rape of the environment . That’s the North Dakota oil boom . A quick google will show you they’re already having problems there with it . What a damn shame when people have to place survival over conscience ( and pretend to be PROUD of it ). Moral poverty .

  • “The truth is that Barack Obama simply does not know what he is doing when it comes to jobs. He continues to push for even more job-killing “free trade” agreements that will result in millions more American jobs being shipped overseas.”

    Free trade creates jobs. Did you sleep in economics class?

    • Michael

      I went to one of the top undergraduate business schools in the nation and on top of that I have a JD and an LLM.

      Like you, I once believed in “free trade”, but then I learned the truth.


  • Tim

    Yes. It’s not the label that really matters, but its the ingredients that matter. “Free” for who? “Trade” for what?

  • NDNative

    I have read a lot of the comments and have to say that any of you bad-mouthing the people and state that you moved to in order to provide for your family, you turn my stomach. Why dont you get down on your knees and thank the Good Lord that you have work and had the means to even come out here? Quit complaining about people being rude to you! If that’s all you have to deal with, then you are blessed!
    Here’s what I’ve heard from others around here… Man camps, 9 guys to a trailer. 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off. This doesn’t mean every job but from guys I have talked to. Strip club and bars in Williston. Ruining marraiges, tearing apart families. Like someone had commented, this is a job for a single guy, not for families. I have heard that some people near Williston are getting nasty tasty, smelling drinking water. Out-of-towners don’t realize that it is hard enough getting shipments to Walmarts, other grocery stores out here… Now with all these people coming in, the shelves are frequently bare! Just yesterday, all the fresh meats at Walmart were gone. Bread shelves are empty. What happens when gas prices go higher? It means less truck routes, less food. Do you really want to come out here? Yeah you might make some good money for a few months, but is it really worth all the extra trouble? and God forbid, having to deal with “rude” locals? Right Nancy? lol
    Get your priorities right brothers and sisters! God should always be priority number One. And in these troubled times, you need to put your trust in Jesus, not on uncertain means of money. Praying that you follow the right path. God Bless

    • Mommyof2

      Im so glad I read this, my family and I were looking to move up here, the man is sick of getting paid the bare minimum and hes been an electrician for over 10 years, you had me at strip clubs.. glad I read this..

  • Hmmmmm

    I see these comments were at end of 2011 and beginning of 2012. When you need a job, anything with a good wage looks attractive. When you need a place for your family to live, desperation overrides good sense. When you begin to breathe again, gratitude sometimes gets lost in expectations and pride.

    I have lived in many states and with many communities. There are several rules or guidelines I have developed.

    Rule 1. Never move into a community and tell them there is a better way. If they decide what they are doing is not working and ask you for your opinion, then it is okay to share it. If you do not like the way they do something, just don’t participate in that one particular aspect of it. Offer to help in some other way, even if it is picking up trash near the public buildings.

    Rule 2. A kind and humble attitude will make your transition easier. if you don’t know what it is to be humble, study people who are humble. Don’t expect something back for everything you do.

    Rule 3. There is no one — absolutely no one that can make you happy or unhappy. Do not allow another person to determine how you feel. Do not give control of your emotions or thoughts to another soul.

    About the time I think someone or some place makes me happy, I am proven wrong. I have found God to be my only constant source of joy and I have found myself to be content in every place I have lived.

    Finally and surely you know by now that this country will not be saved or redeemed by a political party or a group of people.

    Seek and you will find.

  • Dukie

    I suggest we sell North Dakota to Canada, throw in Minnesota as well in return for a few cheap beads and loose change

  • Good article, and even better discussion in the comments. It’s a tough issue, and there are many pros and cons to the oil boom in North Dakota. Good to see the locals weigh in with some first hand experience. And yes, those jobs are very hard in addition to be high paying. Much harder.

  • Part of the main impact of the boom on small communities comes from the fact that the oil jobs are driving up expected wages. Local towns need cops and teachers, but it’s hard to pay those people some comparable to the oil field wages.

  • todd

    well, I live on the south end of the oil boom in Dickinson, ND. My family and I have moved here from minneapolis, MN. It is a great area for kids….. You Can buy a house, build a house, Buy a manufactured house, or whatever you want really. THE FACT of the matter is that you need to plan on doing some of the leg work yourself. Don’t expect to find something for sale cheap in the first place you look. I paid cash for a 50’s era house and completely remodeled it with the wages I made in the first few months of working here. (I am an electrician) The coolest part is that I save most of my income. It does not cost that much to live here! I go 100 miles to sams club once a month and get a pickup load of food. Thats because the local prices are high. For fun my family goes boating, fishing, camping, hunting, hiking, and ocasionally we go to minneapolis to get away (its an 8 hour drive). So I have to say to those people that think north dakota is not an option: Are you LAZY? If so, then just sit where you are and rot. IF not, come to North dakota so that my boss can hire me a damn helper…. we are short handed because theres nobody to hire.

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