For people looking for work, you could call it “Boom 2.0” in the Williston area.
The number of openings in the northwest part of the state has jumped by 50% in the past year.
And, as Jim Olson reports, there’s a different feel to this jump in economic activity.
(Paula Hickel, Williston Workforce Center Mgr.) “It’s been getting bigger throughout the summer.”
Paula Hickel is talking about the number of job openings posted on jobsND.com in the Williston area. As of this month, there are 1,670 positions open – up 57% from one year ago.
(Greg Demuth, Job Seeker) “Just came here because I was looking for some work where I had a W-2 wage.”
The opportunities attracted Greg Demuth from Florida.
(Greg Demuth, Job Seeker) “It seems like there’s a lot of demand here, a lot of positive things in the city and the cities around it and a lot of positive opportunity for people who want to work hard.”
He’s applying for a job as a CDL driver, something that Hickel says is at the top of the list for need right now – along with oil and gas jobs and construction work.
(Paula Hickel, Williston Workforce Center Mgr.) “Two-to-one in those areas – two jobs for every job seeker in those areas.”
But she says this new jobs boom is different than five years ago for both employers and potential workers.
(Paula Hickel, Williston Workforce Center Mgr.) “They’re not as desparate and really looking to be carefully hiring and I see job seekers looking to carefully get hired on to someplace they want to stay, where they enjoy the work. So even though the openings may be similar to that first boom, there doesn’t feel that level of desperation and I’ll take any job. Everybody’s being a little more picky.”
Another difference this time around? A bigger variety of jobs.
(Paula Hickel, Williston Workforce Center Mgr.) “There’s a lot more supportive services and work going on in Williston as compared to maybe 7-8 years ago when it was all oilfield and not a lot of the other services.”
Hickel says the bottom line is pretty simple for job seekers.
(Paula Hickel, Williston Workforce Center Mgr.) “If you have a clean driving record, you can find a job in Williston. If you don’t have a clean driving record, you can still find a job in Williston but you can’t be as picky.”
Jim Olson, KX News.
The 1,670 job openings in northwest North Dakota is just the tip of the iceberg for the state.
Job Service reports 12,789 jobs are open across the state right now – a jump of almost 17% from a year ago.