Nothing good comes without pain — just ask music lovers.
“Every rose has its thorns,” or maybe ‘Everything that glitters is not gold.” That same outlook can seen in the North Dakota oil boom.
There is a lot of good, a whole lot. But with that good comes struggles, tribulations and challenges longtime residents never imagined.
The good in the oil boom is pretty evident — jobs and lots of money.
With an unemployment rate of less than one percent, North Dakota and specifically the Williston Basin leads the nation in unemployment. Statistically, everyone who really wants a job has one.
And for the most part, those jobs pay a lot of money. Those with jobs in the oil field have moved to the top of the economic ladder, but others have also benefited. Virtually every job in Williston pays well above average.
But with the increased money comes challenges. Costs have soared along with payroll. It has become more expensive to buy food and put gas in the car. But the biggest challenge has become housing.
Apartments that rented five years ago for $400 a month are renting for four times that. Homes that sold for $60,000 before the boom are back on the market for $200,000.
Those increases have hit senior citizens the hardest. With their incomes fixed, higher rents have forced many to leave the community for cheaper prices elsewhere.
The tantalizing jobs are also bringing in an influx of people who realize once they get here that they can’t find a place to live and too often can’t find the job they dream of. So, yes, there really is some good, some bad and some ugly.