Despite the low price of oil and dropping rig count, jobs in the area are still plentiful, according to a report by The Bismarck Tribune.
Williston Job Service manager Cindy Sanford says the office hasn’t seen the same slowdown as the rest of the oil patch. She said people looking for work in the Bakken oil field will still find jobs, and those looking for work outside the industry will be able to find jobs as well.
According to The Tribune, Sanford said, “I could place 25 people in a bank on any given day. We have a restaurant here that needs 100 employees; Menard’s needs 150 employees … Construction is not stopping, and the Menard’s construction contractors are hiring another 15 people. Home Depot is still hiring, so is Tractor Supply Co. and Knife River.”
As of today, the North Dakota rig count is 163. Although this count is at a four year low, the Williston Job Service office hasn’t received any words about hiring freezes or layoffs. A sudden influx of people transitioning from unemployment to seeking jobs has also yet to be seen.
“There are still jobs,” Sanford said in the report. Recently, she spoke with an oil industry manager that was facing overtime cuts and was tired of the rollercoaster trends associated with the oil and gas industry. The job service office was able to point him in the direction of job prospects outside the industry.
Sandford said she won’t be making any predictions, but the agency’s annual job fair in March should provide a good indication of the job market. The fair usually brings in hundreds of employers and over 1,000 job applicants. Though, if the slowdown and declining oil prices persist, companies may begin to lay off workers within the coming months.