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By Renée Jean
There are 368 health care job openings from Williston to Minot for just one hospital, and about 40 teacher openings just between Divide, Williams and McKenzie counties.
That’s a lot, but it is just the tiny tip of a big spear when it comes to unfilled job openings in the Oil Patch — a spear that is cutting into what the economic recovery could be, even as oil and gas companies are ramping back up to meet $60 oil.
The latest jobs report shows a 33.2 percent increase in mining and oil extraction jobs in Williams County for the third quarter from 2016 to 2017. That is 2,167 more jobs. McKenzie County’s increase for the same sector is 20.6 percent or 256 jobs.
Transportation is up 330 jobs or 19.1 percent in Williams County, and up 125 jobs or 17.2 percent in McKenzie County for the same sector.
Between the three Oil Patch counties covered by Job ServicesND’s WIlliston office, job postings have hit a three-year high. They’re back where they were in 2015 before everything began to really slide.