Out Of Work? Go to North Dakota! There's a Hiring BOOM! Even McDonald's pays $15 an hour!Submitted by Jdayh on Thu, 10/06/2011 - 20:27
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By Brian A. Shactman, CNBC.com
CNBC on MSN Money
Unemployed? Go to North Dakota
MODS CAN YOU EMBED??
Workers are being hired so quickly that there is also a booming business in housing them. And wages are so high that even McDonald's pays $15 an hour.
Unemployment is a national problem in the United States, but you wouldn't know that if you traveled through North Dakota.
Suddenly, people are moving to the Peace Garden State, where an oil boom has immunized residents from the most severe recession in decades. Wages are up, and work is plentiful.
The state's unemployment rate recently hovered a little above 3%, and "Help Wanted" signs litter the landscape of cities such as Williston in the way "For Sale" signs populate the streets of Las Vegas.
"It's a zoo," said Terry Ayers, who came to town from Spokane, Wash., slept in his truck and found a job within hours of arrival, tripling his salary. "It's crazy what's going on out here."
Billions of dollars are coming into the state and thousands of people are following -- all because millions of barrels of oil are flowing out.
The result: An old-fashioned oil boom.
There's little available housing in parts of North Dakota, so newcomers sleep in truck stops and parking lots of Wal-Mart stores. Developers are building hundreds of houses and thousands of apartment units.
The McDonald's in Williston is one of the busiest in the country, and it needs to pay $15 an hour just to attract employees.
And then there are the trucks -- thousands of them -- on the state's roads. One left turn in Williston gets so backed up with truck traffic that it can take hours to get through the intersection.
"If you're not making money now, there's a major problem," said Williston Mayor Ward Koeser, who is overwhelmed with managing the city's growth. Among the problems Koeser is grappling with are sewage treatment, building permits and an exponential increase in traffic violations.