Saturday, February 2, 2013

Occupational Demand in Boom Towns

The oil boom in North Dakota is big. It is drawing labor, disproportionately young men, into a sparsely populated area and paying them a lot of money. As the New York Times reports:
The rich shale oil formation deep below the rolling pastures here has attracted droves of young men to work the labor-intensive jobs that get the wells flowing and often generate six-figure salaries.

How many young men? "In 2011, nearly 58 percent of North Dakota’s unmarried 18-to-34-year-olds were men, according to census data." What well-paid, single, young men demand is women. This has caused problems but also opportunities.
Some women have banked on the female shortage. Williston’s two strip clubs attract dancers from around the country. Prostitutes from out of state troll the bars.

Natasha, 31, an escort and stripper from Las Vegas, is currently on her second stint here after hearing how much money strippers made in Williston on a CNN report last year. Business in her industry is much better here than in the rest of the country, she said. She makes at least $500 a night, but more often she exceeds $1,000.

“We make a lot of money because there’s a lot of lonely guys,” she said.

It may also be a good place to open an STD clinic.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. An oil boom, in Williston, North Dakota has created many six-figure jobs for men, but apartments aren't being built fast enough to keep up with the influx of men and its causing a shortage of women.
    The small supply of apartments, coupled with the high demands, has jacked up the average monthly rents to something you'd expect to pay in Manhattan, not in a rural Midwest town because there are too few options available. In the meantime, many live in company-provided units, similar to military barracks or an all-male sleep away camp.

    These living conditions of the men; some who are single, married, overworked, lonely, men with big dreams, men who keep their heads down and men who cause trouble—has made it an overwhelming place to be female.
    Because of the high demand of women, the men are treating women like a piece of meat. This is causing competition among the men themselves to vie for the attention of the same woman.

    This shortage is making it difficult for a woman to shop in the near by Wal-Mart or work in reputable companies without men hitting on them. Those that work in restaurants are always being propositioned to serve them privately in their homes.

    In Williston, North Dakota, being a woman in a place where women could be in demand as much as the oil.

    Suzette McMillan, Empire State College, Dr. Singh, ECO-65155X