While the rest of the country struggled under the weight of the Great Recession, North Dakota boomed. And there’s one reason for that: The amazing growth of the Bakken oil field.
The nation’s unemployment rate surged to 10 percent, but North Dakota’s rate only briefly ticked above 4 percent. Thousands of new jobs have been created during the recession, as daily oil production in the Bakken grew almost six-fold.
And sometime this year or early next year, North Dakota will begin producing more than one million barrels of oil per day, according to estimates from the state’s Department of Mineral Resources.
Here’s the number of barrels of oil North Dakota has produced on a daily basis, since 2007:
The jump in production has required companies to hire thousands of new workers. Here’s the number of workers in North Dakota employed in mining and logging industries:
And here’s North Dakota’s unemployment rate, contrasted with the U.S. average:
Improvements in hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, have been a boon to North Dakota’s oil industry — and to the economy as a whole, as support industries add new jobs alongside the oil and gas industries.