Taxable Sales and Purchases Report Shows Growth In Oil Region

After sharp decreases the past two years, for the first time since 2014, the state’s taxable sales and purchases are up.


“I think we’re going to settle in for some good long term economic growth here,” says Shawn Wenko, executive director for Williston Economic Development. 


Overall, the state saw a modest 3 percent growth. But some areas saw a significant increase. Williston up nearly 25% from 2016, with many surrounding areas experiencing similar increases-a sign that the oil industry is on the rebound.


“We’ve seen an increase in economic activity or an increase in people coming through our door. It probably started around the third quarter of 2017. And from there, the trajectory just continues to go up,” says Wenko. 

Home of Economy also saw an increase in business in late 2017. Many of those customers were new hires in the oil industry.


The mining and oil extraction sector saw significant gains-roughly a 52 percent increase. And while the retail sector saw a slight decrease, it continues to dominate with more than $6 billion in taxable sales and purchases statewide.


Danielle Piper, social media director and manager of Grace & Glam, a clothing boutique in Williston, says she has many customers from across the nation. “Two seconds ago I had a lady call me from Cincinnati,” says Piper. “Even the demographic here, where people typically come to work and then they move away…And then they end up telling their friends wherever they move to whether it’s Cincinnati or it’s Fargo,” says Piper.


Overall, the report is a good indicator that the oil industry continues to climb upward. And that many oil producing areas are experiencing a resurgence of growth.


The fourth quarter report for 2017 was also released. Of the 50 largest cities in North Dakota, those that saw the greatest percent increase in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to a year earlier, were Ellendale, New Town, Williston, Casselton, and Watford City. 

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