It is clear now that drilling operations in western North Dakota will not increase in the next six months, possibly not in twelve months, possibly not in twenty-four months. Western North Dakota is entering into a Recession at this time.
More people will continue to lose their jobs, even some city government, state government, and federal government jobs. Wage rates will go down. Very few people will work overtime hours. The longer that oil drilling operations do not increase, the worse the Recession will get. If the Recession continues for a year, there will not be enough jobs for everyone. There will be fierce competition for even low wage jobs.
It will become necessary for skilled trades people from western North Dakota to travel to other states that may have building projects. These skilled trades people sending money back to their families that stay behind in western North Dakota, this money coming into town to pay for rent, mortgages, car payments, and consumer items will help the local economy. The fact that some workers will go away, leave town, and find work out of state, will allow there not to be 100 people applying for and fighting over every single local job.
Now in western North Dakota, the heads of households, moms and dads, need to have a serious family meeting like they may have never had before, with the TV off, phones put away, and everybody being quiet and paying attention. I don’t believe in scaring kids or sharing financial information with kids, but this Recession is going to be so bad, that you are going to need to make your family members understand now. You are going to have to explain to your kids that either mom or dad, or both, may lose their job, have reduced hours, or reduced wages. The family is going to have to do things differently.
The family can no longer waste money on stupid shit. In order to pay for necessities like rent, utilities, and food, the family can not waste money on stupid shit. You have got to let the kids know that they can’t be whining about expensive toys, clothes, trips, because there is not going to be money for that. Not to waste food and utilities. Mom or dad may have to go work out of state. Mom or dad may have to get a second job. Teenage sons or daughters may have to get a job after school and use that money to pay for their own clothes and other things. Mom and dad need to explain the necessity of doing these things, and explain what everyone else in Dickinson and Watford City will go through. Some of their friends will lose their homes or be evicted from their apartments, or have to move away.
You the reader may be thinking that this is drastic. Yes, it is drastic. If this were Idaho, where people have not been making much money, for ever, I would have had little talks with my family all along about not spending money, not one Big talk scaring everybody. But that is what is required now, to scare your family.
Even though ordinary workers in Dickinson and Watford City did not save a lot of money because rents were so high, many workers made a high enough hourly wage to make consumer items like clothes, cell phone, groceries, and gas easily affordable and not significant. Individuals and families in Dickinson and Watford City have gotten used to spending a lot of money every day, because they had a lot of money coming in. If it has not already happened to them, it very likely will happen soon that they will not have so much money coming in. They will have to change their spending habits, drastically.
I would be explaining to my family that his whole thing was crazy anyway.
Looking back on this, people from all over the United States that were having financial difficulties and not making much money where they were, came to North Dakota in hope of getting a good job and getting ahead. It was because of this hope, that they went and paid $1,500 to $2,500 per month for a place to live, thinking that they would still clear enough money to come out ahead. I have lived here in North Dakota now for four years, and I have only ever met people who came here who at best just got by. I have only ever met people who came here who just paid for themselves and their families and just got by. The cold, the unfriendliness, nothing to do, no where to go, no women, and no one got ahead, they just paid for their existence, and now its over.
To make it all worth while, I expect some North Dakotan to offer up, “Nobody asked you to come here.”