Bakken Shale Oil Continues to Fuel a Shovel-Ready Successful Job Stimulus Program in North Dakota
Job growth in the state's booming oil industry was spectacular, with almost a 40% increase in mining jobs in 2011. Further, North Dakota has nine counties with jobless rates at 2% or less for November, and one county - Williams County, at the epicenter of the Bakken oil region - with a jobless rate less than 1%.
The chart above shows the phenomenal employment growth in North Dakota since 2000, especially during the last three years. Over the 12-year period since 2000, U.S. payroll employment has been almost flat, with only a slight 0.86% increase between January 2000 and December 2011. During that same period, North Dakota employment grew by 24% overall and by 448% for the state's mining sector.
In a related story, Investor's Business Daily (IBD) reported this yesterday:
"High oil prices hurt at the gas pump. But they help at the wellhead pump. That has boosted profit margins at Continental Resources (CLR) the largest landholder in the Bakken Shale oil and gas play in parts of North Dakota, Montana and Canada. Continental generated almost 63 cents of profit for every dollar of sales last year, topping IBD's Screen of the Day for Monday, which ranks firms by that key metric. Northern Oil & Gas (NOG), another Bakken Shale play, also ranked high, with a 58.1% profit margin."
In a separate news item, IBD reported that Continental share prices hit a three-and-a-half year high Jan. 10 because of the recent strength in the oil market.
Bottom Line: Drill, drill, drill = jobs, jobs, jobs and also = profits, profits, profits. But don't tell Rep. Dennis Kucinich, he'll want to establish the first "Reasonable Profits Board" in the state of North Dakota.