The population of Williston, North Dakota has exploded over the past three years, from 14,716 in 2010 to 20,850 in 2013. The oil operation expansion in North Dakota has fueled this growth. Williston sits in the center of the Bakken oil formation, a very lucrative spot. Oil is the reason that North Dakota had the lowest unemployment rate in the nation from 2008 to 2012, while the U.S. economy faltered.
This rapid growth over the past half-decade has taken its toll on the town. There are ample jobs in Williston, but the influx of people has caused rents to skyrocket. According to the Apartment Guide, a 700-square-foot apartment now costs over $2,000 a month. That's higher than in New York and San Francisco. There simply aren't enough apartments to go around. Add oil industry employees with six-figure salaries, and the result is a highly competitive real estate environment.
There's a Gold Rush frontier feel to Williston. Many oil companies have created "man camps" to address the shortage. The nicer of these places feature common rooms with entertainment and laundry facilities. Some employees have turned to living in campers and trailers. Housing is being built, but it can't keep up with demand. Apartments are leased before they are finished. Williston is a town ripe with job opportunities for those who have somewhere to live.
Overall, Williston's cost of living is 15 percent higher than the United States average. The only living expenses that are not above average are utilities and transportation. The median home cost in Williston is $251,000 and climbing.
Williston Job Opportunities
Williston's economy used to be based in agriculture, but with the increase in fracking and its location on the Bakken oil formation, the town's economy is now based around petroleum. Oil companies have produced 25,000 new jobs in Williston, ND over the past several years, and it's expected this exponential growth will continue over the next two decades.
Williston jobs in the oil industry are plentiful, and that trend is expected to continue. From laying pipe to fixing machines, the opportunities and money are extremely good. It also boasts a top critical access hospital and numerous jobs in healthcare.
The expectation of continued growth in Williston, ND jobs is due to the vastness of the oil field. The city is working to get housing built and schools expanded. They're also getting ready to open a brand new $70 million recreation center in the hopes of getting people to stay in Williston permanently and to provide more Williston jobs.