Saturday, October 22, 2011

OWS Crowd: Want a High-Paying Job? Move to North Dakota Where They Have a Labor Shortage

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES -- "Williston, N.D., is booming. And it's all because of the oil. People are moving there en masse. It is probably the one place in the nation where there are not enough empty homes to meet the new residents' demands.

More than 6,000 job-seekers have packed their bags and headed to the small northern U.S. town with a normal population of just 3,000. Some of the newly arrived are currently homeless, since last year only 2,000 new housing units were built. This is not nearly enough to sustain the influx. Yet more come in droves each day.

Why wouldn't they? North Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate in U.S. at 3.5 percent and can tout the fact that workers' salaries have doubled and tripled recently.  Individuals can make $15 an hour serving tacos (see photo above), $25 an hour waiting tables and $80,000 a year driving truck.

Oil is the reason behind this small town turned boomtown. Williston is just one of multiple towns surrounded by the oil-rich Bakken formation. This 200,000-square mile rock unit could hold anywhere between 4 billion and 24 billion barrels of oil.

Oil workers can make upwards of $100,000 a year, including overtime and bonuses. As the oilfields offer more lucrative salaries, other local businesses are raising their pay to compete. "There's not a business you can start in North Dakota right now that wouldn't make it," said Nathan Pittman, who works for a trucking company in the state."

MP: The rising tide of oil wages is lifting all wages in North Dakota. 

As Peak Trader comments, the OWS protesters should move to Williston and work hard, so they can pay their fair share of taxes!  It is a bit ironic that at the same time that the OWS crowd is protesting about a lack of  jobs and economic opportunity in the U.S., there's a labor shortage in western North Dakota, and "there's not a business you can start in North Dakota right now that wouldn't make it."  In other words, if the OWS protestors are ambitious and hard-working, they can easily find work in Williston, or start a business there and it's almost guaranteed to succeed!!

17 Comments:

At 10/22/2011 9:33 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

The Occupy Wall Street crowds need to go to ND and work hard. So, they can pay their fair share.

 
At 10/22/2011 10:44 PM, Blogger Bell said...

Like

 
At 10/23/2011 12:09 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Bell, like 12 hours a day (to help the truly needy), which is less than most millionaires.

 
At 10/23/2011 7:45 AM, Blogger Larry said...

If a job was what they really wanted this would be good advice.

 
At 10/23/2011 8:35 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"The Occupy Wall Street crowds need to go to ND and work hard. So, they can pay their fair share"...

Why PT we can't have that since the Occupy Wall Street is a rational response to a system that’s failed...

 
At 10/23/2011 10:21 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

In other words, if the OWS protestors are ambitious and hard-working, they can easily find work in Williston, or start a business there and it's almost guaranteed to succeed!!

Lost in the hype is the fact that ND producers are consuming capital because they cannot make a real profit on their investment. Unless there is some kind of miracle expected that does not seem to be the basis of a strong economy.

Of course, your statement could have been written for people who wanted IT jobs in the 1990s. They could have moved to Silicon Valley and gotten some decent paying jobs even if they lacked general skills. How did that work out?

 
At 10/23/2011 11:08 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

VangelV says: "They could have moved to Silicon Valley and gotten some decent paying jobs even if they lacked general skills. How did that work out?"

Big Money: The Companies with the Biggest Cash Piles in Tech
22nd August 2011

These are the top ten largest technology companies in the world, ordered by their cash reserves:

1. Apple
Market Capitalization: $330 billion
Cash Hoard: $76.2 billion.
2. Microsoft
Market Capitalization: $201 billion
Cash Hoard: $63.7 billion.
3. Cisco
Market Capitalization: $83 billion
Cash Hoard: $38.92 billion.
4. Google
Market Capitalization: $158 billion
Cash Hoard: $35 billion.
5. Oracle
Market Capitalization: $125 billion
Cash Hoard: $28.82 billion.
6. Siemens
Market Capitalization: $85 billion
Cash Hoard: $13.42 billion.
7. IBM
Market Capitalization: $188 billion
Cash Hoard: $11.76 billion.
8. Samsung
Market Capitalization: $92 billion
Cash Hoard: $9.04 billion.
9. Intel
Market Capitalization: $102 billion
Cash Hoard: $7.73 billion.
10. Amazon
Market Capitalization: $81 billion
Cash Hoard: $6.3 billion.

The total net worth of the ten companies is greater than the annual GDPs of all but 11 countries...That means that 170+ countries have a smaller GDP than the combined market value of the tip-top titans of tech.

 
At 10/23/2011 1:36 PM, Blogger AIG said...

"Of course, your statement could have been written for people who wanted IT jobs in the 1990s. They could have moved to Silicon Valley and gotten some decent paying jobs even if they lacked general skills. How did that work out?"

Vangel, as usual, you are as clueless as your Messiah Ron Paul.

It worked out great actually, for most people who worked there. They made lots of money, got lots of experience. There's no guarantee that something will go on forever. But when it does go on, its good to benefit from it.

You're saying that it didn't go on forever, therefore it was a failure. That just shows how clueless you are. Congratulations.

 
At 10/23/2011 2:43 PM, Blogger Arthur said...

First of all anyone involved in OWS would have to know about the job situation in ND. And just how would that happen? More easily said than done. $15 an hour might sound good to someone here in NH, but will it provide them a living wage in ND? Or has the cost of living gone up with the wages?

 
At 10/23/2011 3:17 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Arthur: "$15 an hour might sound good to someone here in NH, but will it provide them a living wage in ND? Or has the cost of living gone up with the wages?"

Good point. We can, at least, safely assume that the cost of lunch has gone up.

But, OWS protesters must have good jobs already, as they're able to spend their many weeks of vacation camping in Zucotti park. :)

It's possible that officials in ND will begin requiring that non-residents bring a 6 month supply of necessities with them, when they enter the state, as was required of those entering Canada from Alaska during the Klondike gold rush, as the town of Dawson was unable to accomodate the tens of thousand of prospectors who flooded into the area.

 
At 10/23/2011 7:00 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Big Money: The Companies with the Biggest Cash Piles in Tech
22nd August 2011


My point stands. The tech sector wound up destroying capital in the 1990s and those that rushed to it got burned.

Let me point out that in 2000 Cisco was sporting a market cap of more than $550 billion. As I write this we are looking at a market cap under $100 billion. At its peak Microsoft had a market cap of $640 billion versus $200 billion today. Intel peaked at $509 billion versus $100 billion today. And note the survivor bias in the data you posted. Nowhere do we see the collapse of companies Nortel, Lucent, AOL, or WorldCom.

In the late 1990s everyone was hyping internet and tech companies as can't lose and were telling people to look for jobs in the very hot tech sectors. In the end reality intervened and both investors and employees could not escape the consequences. The same is true today of the shale sector. The hype is deafening even though most of the players cannot make a real profit or generate cash flows that are required to pay for ongoing production. The companies that are supplying the shale players with services are booming and employees are enjoying very high compensation rates. Unless some miracle happens the bubble will destroy much of the capital invested in the sector and employees will find very little in the way of job security.

 
At 10/23/2011 7:38 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Vangel:
"Of course, your statement could have been written for people who wanted IT jobs in the 1990s. They could have moved to Silicon Valley and gotten some decent paying jobs even if they lacked general skills. How did that work out?"

AIG:
"Vangel, as usual, you are as clueless as your Messiah Ron Paul."


What does the internet bubble have to do with Ron Paul?

It worked out great actually, for most people who worked there. They made lots of money, got lots of experience. There's no guarantee that something will go on forever. But when it does go on, its good to benefit from it.

Yes, people that got $100 an hour to look for code that could cause problems once the year 2000 came along did make a lot of money. And certainly some speculators who bought early, hung on and got out did make money. But the number of people who were net beneficiaries from the bubble is dwarfed by the number that were harmed by that bubble. I had an employee who was buying Nortel shares even though the company never managed to make any money. He saw his investment rise from $50 a share to $100 a share and kept laughing as I was suggesting that he look at companies like Potash, Silver Standard, or Franco Nevada. He kept telling me that my evaluation that put Nortel shares at $0.60 was obviously wrong because the shares would be heading up to $200 some day. Well, when they fell to $25 he doubled up because the market conditioned him to look at buying on the dips as a great strategy. Today his $250K investment is gone and he is struggling with a small pension that makes it hard to keep his standard of living intact. Many of the employees of the high tech companies had a great deal of their net worth invested in shares of those companies. They wound up losing huge amounts when the bubble burst even as many lost their jobs.

You're saying that it didn't go on forever, therefore it was a failure. That just shows how clueless you are. Congratulations.

That is not what I said. I said that it is stupid to take risks by betting on a bubble in its late stages when much better opportunities are available. At this time I would rather bet on a job in the mining or agricultural sectors than on shale. Is it really a good idea to go out and buy a home in ND today when prices are so high even though the local the shale producers are burning through capital and cannot produce enough cash flows to fund their activities? Unless you are a very disciplined young man or woman without ties it is very expensive emotionally and financially to pick up and go, particularly in the latter stages of a bubble. Of course, if you are a very disciplined young man or woman you would not have a problem with employment.

 
At 10/23/2011 7:59 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

VangelV, capital was employed more efficiently after the quick and massive creative-destruction process, mostly from 2000-02.

Most of the capital wasn't destroyed, because it was inevitable that it flowed into tech, it was redeployed.

And there was much more capital creation directly from tech in the 2000s.

 
At 10/23/2011 8:02 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

First of all anyone involved in OWS would have to know about the job situation in ND. And just how would that happen? More easily said than done. $15 an hour might sound good to someone here in NH, but will it provide them a living wage in ND? Or has the cost of living gone up with the wages?

I have a cousin who took a job in the Wood Buffalo Region in Alberta. With overtime he was pulling in around $125K per year but he found it really hard to save money because of the very high living expenses, particularly rent, transportation, and food. His 650 squre foot apartment costs $2,000 a month to rent. Food is very expensive and it costs a lot to run a vehicle in a place where temperatures of -20C are common in the winter. While temperatures in ND are warmer and food is cheaper compensation is much lower so it may be difficult for someone to save as much as would be expected given the pay scale.

 
At 10/23/2011 8:14 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

VangelV, capital was employed more efficiently after the quick and massive creative-destruction process, mostly from 2000-02.

First, it was a bubble that caused the destruction, not the free market. In a free market prices of many of the companies would never have gotten as large as they did.

Second, the surviving companies cut back on the total capital outlays because there was less profit to be made by the sector but more for each surviving company.

Most of the capital wasn't destroyed, because it was inevitable that it flowed into tech, it was redeployed.

But it was destroyed. You had billions in investments in companies that were more concerned about eyeballs than in actual profits.

And there was much more capital creation directly from tech in the 2000s.

This is nonsense. While some companies did well the country has yet to recover from the bubble created in the late 1990s. Yes, the changes in rules managed to temporarily blow up another bubble in housing but that did not have a happy ending and wound up destroying a great deal of capital when reality intervened. As I look around I see another bubble in some elements of the basic material sector and in the shale gas and oil sector. The fact is that the shale producers have been chomping through capital and have to rely on external investment to finance activities because there is no cash flow to pay for the drilling and production. While that is sustainable when interest rates are zero and the system is flooded with liquidity the bubble will have to pop some day in the near future unless prices explode. But if they do, there is just as much money to be made in far less riskier investments that do not carry such a huge premium as the shale players do.

 
At 10/23/2011 9:25 PM, Blogger Don Culo said...

I didn't know all the OWS protesters were unemployed and lookng for work.

 
At 10/23/2011 9:46 PM, Blogger vdavisson said...

Bing reflects the most recent 2000 census, and it shows Williston's population as 12,512.

 

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