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Oil Boom Still Insulating North Dakota from High Unemployment rate

Updated : February 5th, 2021

A right mix of natural resources, industries and skilled workers is the secret to a prospering economy and low unemployment rate. North Dakota is blessed with all of the above making it the state with lowest unemployment rate in the entire nation.

According to the data released by Bureau of Labour Statistics for the month of April, North Dakota has 3.3 percent of unemployment rate, up by 0.1 percent from the month of March. This is one of the three states whose unemployment rate rose.

The oil boom in 2008 changed the fortune of the state and the advancement in hydraulic fracturing generated plethora of employment opportunities attracting folks across the country to it. Hydraulic Fracturing is a technique used to safely extract natural gas.

The state’s unemployment rate has not touched 5 percent since 1987. It has the highest rate of GDP contribution towards the economy and also the fastest growing state in America. The boom in oil industry gave a super boost to real estate and other service related industries helping North Dakota to curb its unemployment.

Need For Faster Development

Living in a car may sound strange to you but this is the way of life in North Dakota. The city Williston does not have enough homes to accommodate the migrant population.

Economist Nancy Hodur, an associate research professor at NDSU (North Dakota State University), said there is a potential for 14,000 total new units in the boomtown.

“Some housing is getting better. Communities are building as fast as they can,”Hodur said.

Dormitory style barracks known as “man camps” have been built for oilfield workers who have migrated here for employment opportunities, but with poor sanitary facilities and they lead lonely lives.

Justin Glasgow, director of real estate investment banking at Robert W Baird, said the authorities in charge of the development of the state have a long road ahead.

Environmental Concerns And Oil Industry Domination Troubling The State

According to the MPR report, North Dakota is producing more than 700,000 barrels of oil per day and is second to Texas in domestic oil production in the nation, with energy production fueling a nearly $2 billion budget surplus in the state.

The technique used for extraction is  much debated issue.Hydraulic Fracturing  can cause irreparable damage to the earth and result in earthquakes in the long run.

A report by the National Research Council, suggests that hydraulic fracturing is unlikely to trigger large earthquakes. However, the study does point to the risk of man-made seismic activity when waste water from the drilling is injected back into the ground.

“While the general mechanisms that create induced seismic events are well understood, we are currently unable to accurately predict the magnitude or occurrence of such events due to the lack of comprehensive data on complex natural rock systems and the lack of validated predictive models,” the study reports.

Hydraulic Fracturing in the veins and deep down the earth allows groundwater to come in contact with oil and leads to contamination. Naturally, the EPA and watch groups are up in arms against this environmental hazard which pollutes the air, contaminates the soil surface and pollutes water in a long run.

If many people still support fracking, in spite of all the drawbacks, it is because of the oil potential, an important factor to reduce dependence on imports. Together with horizontal drilling, fracking has made the economy of North Dakota a success.

On the other hand large number of migrants are working in oil fields while the other jobs are going vacant.
“People will come here to work for the oil companies, and they will make good money, but when they just come by themselves, you no longer have a teenager to work at McDonald’s, or a spouse who  might be a nurse at the hospital,” Ward Koeser, the mayor of Williston, said in a Bloomberg interview. “So the service sector is what’s really suffering right now.”

North Dakota has an opportunity to grow better if it manages to get manpower into other service industries as well. Unemployment rate would hit a new low and help establish a better life aiding faster development.

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  1. I had trouble getting my proof of self-employment to upload in secure file exchange and finally got it submitted by 12:06 am , 6 minutes late. What are the possibilities that they will deny it? I have received unemployment from March 2020 to some of Jan and some in Feb 2021. Most of Dec, Jan, Feb, March, & april were stopped for this proof of employment.
    Also, I see proof of Income as a 2nd issue but it is always on there. That was not on my TO DO list.
    I feel for u all on ID.ME…

    Anyone trying to reach UI, call their number, press 2 or 3 (questions abt filing a claim?) and then wait thru the message. At the end of it, u will be connected to a live person! I promise.. don’t push another button.. I’ve done it 4 times and it never failed.

    We lost our home, my ex took my child…. (kept her after a visit and called cps facilitating drama while the cops wouldn’t give her back without paperwork locked up in the court house..shut down for covid) I raised her by myself for 12 years & now she is with a violent alcoholic and parental alienating parent .. ….my dog, my 9-year sweet little best friend, was attacked, passing away 3 days later.. all in this time frame.
    But! It will all be ok. I have faith.

    Be grateful for your life and all that is in it today. What u dwell on daily will be your strength or weakness.
    Good luck to all of u.
    And thank you, Jeff, for responding out here. It is appreciated!
    Davulia S.

  2. I filed over two months ago. I have not received any information. My status says “pending resolution”. I have no way of contacting anyone. My position was eliminated at my job and I submitted the documentations online. I dont know what else I can do.

  3. I have been apply Ohio Pua unemployment since July 5th still pending issues. Upload what they ask for when ever I call says your case is in Adjudication. Very very frustrated, financially I am broke. Health issues. Waiting a long period.Don’t know what I will do ?

    1. Nafisa,

      I can understand your situation. There will be a delay considering the number of applications that are being processed. Please continue chasing the office/check your status online at regular intervals until payments normalize.

    2. Same here since Feb 2021 turned in all the documents still pending issues 3 months now. When you call they tell you to be patient. Pulling my hair out it’s so frustrating.

  4. I was receiving PUA unemployment. they made me file for a new claim in February. Now I am in adjudication even though I gave all the same information from my previous claim. Have been adjudication since February and I call and they say they will put in a ticket to have an Adjudicator call me. Nothing. I am wondering If I can go down to to Maryland Unemployment Office and demand that someone talk with me to release my claim for payment. It’s been 56 days. I read that they have a maximum of 45 days.

    1. Luis,

      Your adjudicator may be inundated with pending cases. Please continue to follow up (if you have the contact details) or consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

    2. t sounds just like mine only im disqualified yet actie every till sept 4th . they haven’t asked me for anything! i file then its disqualified yet im told im ok and have nothing to do bit wait for an answer? answer to what? they switched my program and all and asked me to provide proof for a claim that wa denied al eady back in 2018! deny me once and then again perhaps? lol idk

  5. My mom had unemployment in Florida. She just recently moved temporally to California with a sister since she needs assistance, and now the website is telling her she cannot do anything because she is register in another state. Can she keep filing unemployment in Florida, even if she is living and register now in another state? how is the process to change the unemployment? I tried calling and there is no answer. Thank you!

    1. Stephanie,

      Please ask your mother to consider transferring the UI benefits from FL to CA (details will be available on either of the websites). If there are benefits weeks left in the account, she will be able to claim them.

    1. Leatha,

      UI benefits are offered to claimants who lose employment involuntarily and be able to and available for work.

  6. I lived in ga in 2019 and move to florida in 2020 and work for the xmas months in nov-dec. I was told to do a combine wage claim. my question is which state do i file the claim in?

  7. I filed for pua in Ohio back in October 2020.My claim has been in ajudacatuon since 11/1/20.So 2 to 6 weeks is a total understatement! When I call.i am told to basically hurry up and wait some more.I have recently been redetermined and my claim is allowed.but I have one pending issue.How long is too long?

    1. Nicole,

      Unfortunately, nobody has an answer. There are perhaps thousands of pending applications. Please consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

  8. If you claim your weeks for unemployment and for the next 2 months you still have not received your money. Where can you go in volusia county to talk with a live person

      1. HI Jeff,
        I applied back in Dec 5th, 2020 and I haven’t received any correspondence, is there a local office that I can make an appt to make certain my claim is right.

        1. Adam,

          You can consider visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible (details will be available on the Unemployment Office’s website).

  9. On NYS DOL website, my claim is saying current yet the information is for my old claim with 0 days remaining despite receiving 2 weeks of payments on the new claim and I was able to certify last night. I haven’t received anything; no letters or emails.

  10. I was disqualified for UI benefits for not providing an ID and other forms of identification. How do I fix this?

        1. Gary,

          You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

    1. Hi Mike, I’m in NYS and was at the end of my BYE on 3/14, I was still certifying but wasn’t getting paid. I found out I had to file a new claim because my other was exhausted. I’m still waiting on approval. Maybe you have to file a new claim. I hope this helps.

  11. They say 2-6 weeks it’s more accurate to say 2-6 months; and when you call many of them are rude and unwilling to assist!

  12. someone needs to look into Sharon L. Anton gillette, wyo. or dickinson, nd she is a fraud and has done so many fraudulent things and please look into her

    1. Annette,

      Please report it to the Fraud Division of the Unemployment Office in your state. You can report on the website.

  13. I worked part time for thee years here in florida. I’m currently not working. I’m also retired and collects social security.
    My question is
    Am I qualified to file for unemployment ?

    1. Ruby,

      To be eligible, you’re required to have sufficient hours and earnings. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website.

  14. So adjudication takes 8 to 12 weeks. Oh okay, that explains why I havent received payment since July. That surely helps just like the rest of the information that you give. And by the way. What’s the NEW reason you can’t get through to the Call Center.

    1. Maria,
      I have gotten through to the call center (live agent) every time i’ve tried calling within the last 2 weeks. The number to a live agent (follow the prompts carefully) is (667)-207-6520. i have gotten through within 10 to 15 mins with each call i had made!

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