North Dakota Sets New Records in February for Both Crude Oil Production and Oil Employment
The "Economic Miracle State" of North Dakota pumped another record amount of oil during the month of February at a daily rate of 558,255 barrels, which was an increase of 2.24% and 12,000 barrels per day compared to January, and was 60% above the output level from a year earlier (see top chart above). The new record-setting production in recent months has moved the Peace Garden state ahead of California to become the nation’s No. 3 oil-producing state, behind only Texas and Alaska. If North Dakota continues to increase monthly output at the current rate, it could soon surpass Alaska to become the No. 2 oil-producing state.
As a result of the ongoing oil boom in the Bakken area, North Dakota continues to lead the nation with the lowest state unemployment rate at 3.1% for February, more than five percent below the national average of 8.2% for February. There were 13 North Dakota counties with jobless rates at or below 3% for February, and Williams County, which is at the center of the Bakken oil boom, boasts the lowest county jobless rate in the country at just 0.9%. The exponential growth in North Dakota oil production has fueled exponential growth in the state's "Natural Resources and Mining" employment, which has tripled in less than three years, and surpassed 20,000 for the first time in February.
Bottom Line: The ongoing record-setting oil production in North Dakota continues to make it the most economically successful state in the country, with record levels of employment and income growth, a labor shortage, increasing tax revenues, the lowest foreclosure rate in the country, a strong real estate market, and jobless rates in many counties of the Bakken region below 3%.
Update: According to the Conference Board, there were fewer unemployed workers (12,060) in North Dakota in February than advertised online jobs (13,700), for a Supply/Demand ratio of only 0.88. Nationally, there were 12.806 million unemployed workers and 4.42 million advertised openings for a Supply/Demand ratio of 2.91.