In the past several years, I have written many blog posts where I try to get the information out there, that there are false rumors and misinformation being spread about the need for workers in North Dakota, in order to lure people here.
Business people in North Dakota habitually try to talk up the economy, making broad exaggerations, making things up, and sometimes lying. Business people, politicians, news media, and ordinary citizens, repeat back to each other, what they have heard, but very few people hardly ever take the time to see if what they are saying is true.
It is so frustrating to me, the reality of what is going on in Dickinson, North Dakota, versus what people in Dickinson are saying and talking about.
Since the oil boom ended in North Dakota in 2015, I have seen a net decrease in the amount of businesses in Dickinson, a net decrease in the number of residents, an increase in homes for sale, an increase in apartments for rent, an increase in trailer park vacancies, an increase in vacancies in commercial and retail buildings, real estate prices have gone down, people have been unable to sell their homes, rent prices have gone down, and there are fewer job advertisements.
Just a few highlights are, Delta airlines ceased operations at the Dickinson airport due to lack of customers and lack of profitability, and United airlines tried to cease operations at the Dickinson airport due to lack of customers and lack of profitability. The government prevented United airlines from leaving the Dickinson airport due to an “essential air services” rule.
Sears has closed, JC Penny has closed, Herbergers department store is closing soon, and the Prairie Hills mall has recently been sold. The two largest stores in the Prairie Hills mall were JC Penny and Herbergers. For the stores like Sears, JC Penny, Herbergers, Hobby Artz, and Radio Shack that have closed, there have not been any new or different stores to open to replace these stores.
A few other businesses that have closed in Dickinson were Total Workforce Solutions staffing company, Evolution Gym, Pita Pit restaurant, Wildcat Pizza, several small business in the downtown business district, and more than several local construction and contracting companies. The Elks Lodge was forced to downsize, they sold the upstairs to their own building, and moved into the basement of their building.
Even though the population of Dickinson has decreased, many businesses have closed and not been replaced by new or different businesses, many local companies have closed and not been replaced by new or different companies, there are many vacancies in residential and commercial properties, and there are fewer job advertisement listings, the people in Dickinson walk around talking about how things are taking off.
I looked at the North Dakota Job Services job listings for Dickinson today. I counted about thirty-two job listings posted in the month of April so far up until today, April 23. Of these thirty-two job listings for Dickinson, twelve of these job listings were for certified medical professionals like nurses, mammography technicians, and radiology technicians. This leaves twenty non-medical job listings for the month of April in Dickinson. Eight of these remaining jobs were low paying retail type jobs.
I then went and looked at the job listings for Dickinson, North Dakota on the website Indeed.com. On Indeed.com, there were roughly twice as many job listings, as what North Dakota Job Services had. There were roughly fifty to sixty job listings posted in the month of April so far, on Indeed.com. Approximately ten of these jobs were low paying such as customer service, retail, and food service workers. Approximately ten of these jobs were part time or seasonal. Approximately ten of these jobs were sales type jobs where an applicant is led to believe that there is potential to earn good pay, but it never works out that way. (You might not know what I mean about bullshit sales jobs unless you or your friends have done these jobs, where you never receive sales commissions.)
On Indeed.com, there were about fifteen jobs posted for Dickinson, North Dakota, in the month of April, that were good paying oil field, trades person, or professional type jobs. However, these fifteen good paying jobs, required specialized experience, knowledge, or education, such as a commercial driver’s license, degree as an engineer or engineering technician, or being an experienced heavy equipment operator.
My point in writing this blog post, is not just to explain why I am annoyed that people in Dickinson persist in repeating information that is not true about things in Dickinson taking off, I want to explain that this luring people here by telling them that there is a huge need for workers, is going to cause problems and hardship for people.
As I explained about the job listings posted for the month of April on Indeed.com, there were about fifteen jobs that were good paying jobs, but they required specialized experience, knowledge, or education. What are people in Dickinson trying to do, what are people in North Dakota trying to do, telling the world that there is a great need for workers, and high paying jobs, when this is not the case?
People are going to move to North Dakota, possibly bringing their families with them, because they heard about all of the jobs, and the high paying jobs. When they get here, and can’t get a job, or can only get a low paying job, what is going to happen, what are they going to do, what are they supposed to do? You don’t really care, or give a shit, do you? You just like talking every day about how things are really booming in Dickinson.