In North Dakota Oil And Gas Related Employment Makes Up 28 Percent Of Wages


As Bismarck Tribune reporter Nick Smith writes, lawmakers were given a comprehensive report yesterday detailing the oil and gas industry’s impacts on jobs in North Dakota.

Not surprisingly, the impact is profound.

The full report is below, but what caught my eye the most was the map above. It details, by county, the percentage of employment related to the oil and gas industry. As you can see, jobs from the industry are concentrated in the western counties, but there’s really no part of the state that hasn’t seen a significant impact. What’s really interesting is how many oil jobs there are in the eastern part of the state.

And then there’s this from the report: “Of the 359,415 jobs in North Dakota in 2013, 15.3% or 55,137 are attributable to oil and gas related employment. Those jobs represent 28.5% of total wages or $5.0 billion of the $17.5 billion in wages. The employment is broken into five subcategories with the corresponding job counts.”

This is even more amazing. If we look at McKenzie County (Watford City) specifically, we find that “71.1% of all jobs and 83.2% of all wages in McKenzie County were attributable to oil and gas related employment.”

That’s by far the high percentages in the state. Mountrail and Williams counties were next at 64.6 and 64.5 percent of jobs from the oil industry, respectively.

A couple of things to note about these numbers, though. First, the location statistics for jobs are based on where the employer is located, not necessarily where the employee is located. Also, these numbers cover all jobs in North Dakota covered by unemployment insurance. And, most notably, the report is not detailing jobs created by secondary impacts of the oil boom (i.e. road construction jobs, hotel and restaurant jobs, retail store jobs, etc.).

I can’t even imagine what the numbers would look like if those secondary impacts were included as well.

Here’s how the direct oil and gas industry jobs break down:


Here’s the full report, provided to me by a legislator:

Oil Jobs Report