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Earlier this week, I saw a TV news story highlighting steady job growth in oil industry jobs despite low oil prices. I started researching the topic and found data that affirms the story.
There is lots of information about the outlook for oil in North Dakota, but most people overlook a reliable and positive date source: job predictions for the industry.
A key chart presented by the state’s Department of Mineral Resources in September predicts that industry-related jobs will grow at rapid rates through 2050, resulting in nearly 80,000 new jobs.
To put this in perspective, right now there are about 50,000 jobs in North Dakota’s oil industry, meaning that even if current projections are off by as much as half and growth results in 40,000 new jobs, the industry still will grow by another 60 percent in terms of employment.
It’s also worth noting that the jobs being generated are almost exclusively in the production phase. And these are steady, long-term positions that let workers make western North Dakota their home. Not only do these jobs attract new families to our cities, but also they create sustainable and vibrant communities that see steady growth for generations.
I’m betting on oil because the data proves the industry’s continuing economic importance to our state. Because of the business climate created by our state lawmakers, growth in the oil industry in future decades will continue to contribute to the economic prosperity and quality of life that North Dakotans enjoy.
As printed in the Grand Forks Herald, January 29, 2016