The Bakken oil field boom isn't just a North Dakota phenomenon.

"Places even hundreds of miles away appear to benefit from the wave of oil activity," says a new study from researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

In average weekly wages and unemployment rates, counties even up to 100 miles away from the Bakken's 12-county core in western North Dakota still saw a significant benefit.

The study found that the strongest wage growth was indeed in the oil patch area -- with average wages up 140 percent since 2001. Wage growth in the Bakken started outperforming other counties in 2004. But the ripple effect on wages in counties farther away has been a more recent trend.

Wage growth in counties up to 100 miles away from the Bakken "didn't separate from other non-Bakken counties until 2009," the study found.

The study, released Tuesday, May 7, was done by Dulguun Batbold, a research assistant at the Minneapolis Fed, and Rob Grunewald, an associate economist there. The Minneapolis Fed's seven-state district includes North Dakota.

The economic momentum is evident in Moorhead, Minn., which is almost 400 miles from the heart of the oil patch.

Moorhead, the Clay County seat, has seen anecdotal and statistical evidence of the benefits of the Bakken, said Brian Berg, the county administrator.

"We saw a few years ago, our unemployment rate in Clay County was better than the rest of the state," Berg said Tuesday. "There are people around here

who maybe lost their construction jobs and they choose to go out there, work there for a week or two and then come back for a week."There's enough demand for skilled workers in the oil fields that employers will let them keep that type of schedule and keep them coming back, Berg said.

Clay County's unemployment rate in March was 4.7 percent, compared with 5.4 percent for Minnesota as a whole. Minnesota counties to the east of Clay County -- and farther from North Dakota -- have higher unemployment rates. That includes Becker County at 7.7 percent and Otter Tail at 7.2 percent.

In the broader Fargo, N.D.-Moorhead area, "the biggest growth has been in engineering and technology companies," providing services to firms in the oil patch, said James Gartin, president of the Greater Fargo-Moorhead Economic Development Corp. Local companies that supply electrical products, piping and other supplies to firms out west have done well.

"It's a blessed position to be in," Gartin said. "The only thing that stops the growth is lack of a good qualified workforce," he said, which stems from the region's relatively small population.

Regardless, the boom in the Bakken and surrounding areas isn't expected to end anytime soon.

Last week, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated that the Bakken and Three Forks formations in North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and southern Canada have 7.4 billion barrels of undiscovered oil -- double earlier estimates.

John Welbes can be reached at 651-228-2175.



Knowledge is very great power and this education works for us unbelievably. W cannot count the blessings and benefits of education in our life. We can increase amount of knowledge in our mind with getting education nonstop. Your educations actually increase your knowledge and information.

12/07/2016 5:47am

I am little curious to know more about it

07/29/2017 12:06am

Thanks so much for a great post. I'd like to know more about these topics and hope that I can receive more insight into this topic.

09/16/2017 3:59pm

Thanks for the great content. It is nice to go through the process at a high level.


Leave a Reply

SPYDR Oilfield Service LLC. Copyright 2013 - 513 East Broadway, Williston, North Dakota 58801 701-774-2340 SPYDR OILFIELD SERVICE -Roustabout -Oil Field Contstruction- Oilfield Maintenance