Tag Archives: economy in Dickinson North Dakota

I Didn’t Realize That No One Knew, Or Everyone Forgot About What Happened In Dickinson, North Dakota

I have been writing about the hatred, hostility, unfriendliness, lack of cooperation, and usurious gouging that the local people in Dickinson treated the out of state workers with, but I didn’t realize that many people don’t know what I am talking about, or they have forgotten.  I must now re-tell what happened.

Having made one preliminary trip to Williston in May of 2011, where I had to sleep in my truck, I purchased a 1975-78 truck bed camper for $500, for my return to North Dakota.  When I arrived in Dickinson in mid-May of 2011, I slept in my truck bed camper in the Wal-Mart parking lot and in the Tiger Truck Stop parking lot for a few days.

Within a few days I was able to get a job with an oil field service company.  I was told that I could stay in my camper on the company property, but arrangements were being made to find a house trailer for me and two other new hires to live in, we would each have to pay some of the cost in rent.  Soon, my local Dickinson co-workers complained and protested so much about the company trying to find a house trailer for us new hires to live in, that the company withdrew the offer.  My other out of state co-worker was stuck sleeping in a small Chevy Astro van that he had borrowed from a relative.

In the evening after work, I would go to the Tiger Truck Stop to use the internet.  Soon, I began talking to the “regular customers” that I would see every evening.  It turned out, that most of these regular customers were sleeping in their vehicles at the truck stop.  Some people didn’t even have vehicles, they were sleeping on the ground way at the back of the parking lot.

When motorists on interstate I-94 would take the Tiger Truck Stop exit ramp, they would see campers and tents at the back of the truck stop parking lot.  This attracted other out of state workers to park there, and it caused local Dickinson residents to try to put an end to this.  The Tiger Truck Stop received many complaints about people staying in their parking lot.  Some local Dickinson residents went so far as to make formal complaints with the City of Dickinson.  The City then informed the Tiger Truck Stop that they were not licensed as a “camp ground” and could not allow people to stay there over night.  The Tiger Truck Stop staff had to inform people every night that they could not stay there in a trailer or camp there.

The Tiger Truck Stop had not seen the harm in allowing people who didn’t know where to go and what to do, the chance to park and find out if they could get a job and a if they could find a place to live.  There was no homeless shelter in Dickinson.  The local Dickinson residents who complained, did so out of maliciousness because this was a completely industrial area, and these people weren’t hurting anything.

Other places that the out of state workers slept at night in their vehicles, on the ground, or in the bushes were:  Wal-Mart parking lot, Patterson Lake, T-Rex Mall parking lot, under bridges over the Heart River, the deep wooded ditch behind Kentucky Fried Chicken, vacant lot behind the Grand Dakota Lodge, DSU Agricultural Research Center woods, Dickinson Trap & Skeet Club woods, Enchanted Highway metal sculptures, I-94 rest areas, storage units, industrial areas, and construction sites.

I estimate that on any night, there were 300 to 400 homeless workers in Dickinson.  About 90% of them were currently employed.  For most of these homeless workers, the cost of a motel room in Dickinson per week, was more money than they would take home in a week.  The least expensive old one bedroom apartments in Dickinson were $1,500 per month, with $1,500 deposit, if you could even find one that was available.  Most out of state workers came to North Dakota because they were having financial difficulty where they came from, they didn’t have $3,000 to get into an apartment.

I called all of the RV Parks in Dickinson, none of them would allow trailers or motor homes that were older than ten years old.  Lot rents were about $700 per month, plus utilities.  Many out of state workers thought that they were going to be O.K. with their older motor home, truck bed camper, or trailer that they brought with them, but instead they found that the trailer parks would not allow them, and that the local Dickinson residents hated them.

The local Dickinson residents had this scheme, that they were going to fleece the out of state workers in every way possible, to the greatest extent possible.  The local people in Dickinson did not want there to be enough housing.  The local people wanted there to be a scarcity of housing, so that housing prices would double, triple, and quadruple, which they did.  When the City of Dickinson and Stark County had to review permit applications for “Man Camps” which would have helped to alleviate the housing shortage, the local Dickinson residents protested so strongly, that they were not allowed.

The local Dickinson residents then proceeded to rent tents or camper spaces in their backyards for $700 per month, until the City of Dickinson later had to pass an ordinance against this.

In the evenings after work in Dickinson, I met many normal workers from out of state who had a home, a wife, and children back where they came from.  I would pass the time with them in the evening, while they waited until it was dark enough and late enough to go back to a construction site to sleep, industrial area, or parking lot, wherever they had to hide at night.  All of the homeless out of state workers had to hide at night, because the local Dickinson residents didn’t like the “oil field trash” getting away with not paying them $700 per month to sleep in their backyard, or $1,500 per month for their garage apartment.

The local people in Dickinson absolutely did not want there to be a homeless shelter because this would have meant more people getting away with not paying them.

In my previous blog post I wrote that soon it will be unnecessary for me to write about and criticize Dickinson for what it has done.  There is going to be an economic collapse in Dickinson, where all of the gouging and scheming local residents will get their just rewards for what they have done.  The local Dickinson residents mistreated the out of state workers who came here after facing an economic collapse where they came from.  Now the Dickinson residents can experience the exact same thing, losing their jobs, not being able to pay their bills, losing their possessions and their homes, having to go to a different state where they have never been and don’t know anyone, with not enough money to pay for a place to stay.

Will I Ever Be Done Criticizing Dickinson, North Dakota?

Will I ever be done criticizing Dickinson, North Dakota?  Yes, I see an end to this.  I think that I see how everything is going to unfold, play out, and finish up in Dickinson.  I never could have planned and orchestrated life making such a complete, perfect, and just full circle.

I had a home and everything that I ever wanted in Idaho.  But the economy in Idaho kept getting worse and worse.  If I didn’t do something, I would go broke, and lose everything that I had.  I heard about the oil boom in North Dakota, so that is where I went in May of 2011.

I had never been to North Dakota, and I didn’t know anyone in North Dakota.  When I got to North Dakota, I slept in my vehicle.  There was no affordable place to stay.  Even though I had a degree in engineering and had worked in many types of construction as an engineer, estimator, inspector, superintendent, and project manager, the North Dakota employers treated me as if I didn’t know anything, though they relied on me to do work at a much higher level than they treated me.

It has been difficult and unpleasant living in Dickinson.  I have written about it.  The lack of affordable housing, there being nothing to do, the shortage of women, the scarcity of attractive women, the hostility, hatred, unfriendliness, and lack of cooperation from the local people.  But I will be able to quit writing about all of this soon.

There is an economic collapse that is going to happen in Dickinson, that is just now beginning.  Every unkind thing that the people in Dickinson did, is going to come back on them.  What they derided the out of state workers for, they will now experience fully for themselves.

In Dickinson, local people will begin to lose their jobs.  Local people “who didn’t do anything wrong and don’t deserve this” will not be able to pay for their vehicles, their homes, and their necessities.  The local people in Dickinson made fun of and mistreated the out of state workers who came here after losing everything, now the local people will have a chance to experience losing everything themselves.

I won’t have to write about it.  The local people in Dickinson will live every day in uncertainty, with anxiety, fear, and worry.  It will be difficult to pay bills, and then they won’t be able to pay bills at all.  For the able-bodied, it will come to the point where they pack what they can into a vehicle and head for some place like Denver, Oklahoma City, or Salt Lake City, without enough money or barely enough money to make it there.  Not knowing anyone where they are going, with no money, and no place to stay.  When they are sleeping in their cars in the below freezing weather, maybe they will remember how the local people in Dickinson treated the out of state workers who came to Dickinson.

The majority of the absolutely broke local people won’t leave Dickinson because that’s just the way they are, unable and unwilling to change, adapt, or adjust.  They won’t understand and refuse to understand no matter how many times the Sheriff deputy explains that they are being evicted and have to leave their home.  The local people who have been evicted from their homes will be packed shoulder to shoulder in the basements of the Catholic Churches.

One of the final, final pieces of justice for the local Dickinson people who are packed shoulder to shoulder in the basements of the Catholic Churches, with one toilet, will be that the local people in Dickinson refused to build a homeless shelter.  Millions and millions of dollars have been paid to Catholic Church in Dickinson through tithes, offerings, and bequests but no one wanted to build a homeless shelter.  In the end, the homeless people who will suffer the most in wretched filth, stench, and squalor will be the local people.

Only Seven Jobs Posted This Week On North Dakota Job Services In Dickinson

On Friday April 21, I received a comment to one of my blog posts from a 31 year old local woman in Dickinson, North Dakota.  This woman was from a local family that had lived in Dickinson for several generations.  She had graduated from the private Catholic Trinity High School in Dickinson.  She later married a man who came to Dickinson from out of state to work here during the oil boom, and she later became divorced from him, though he still lives here in Dickinson.

I could not find a woman who is a more perfect representation of local women in Dickinson, coming from a family who has lived here for several generations, being Catholic, and having graduated from Trinity High School, and making the comment, “The oilfield is not dying it’s picking up.  Companies can’t find enough workers to fill all the open positions.”

No matter how many articles I write exposing the lies and misinformation in Dickinson, North Dakota, that are spread in attempt to lure people here to take advantage of them, the local people persist in spreading these lies and misinformation.  “This oil boom is going to last for the next twenty years.”  “Everyone is making $100,000 per year in the oil field.”  And, “The oilfield is not dying it’s picking up.  Companies can’t find enough workers to fill all the open positions.”

This week in Dickinson, North Dakota, for the entire week, from Friday of last week to the end of the day on Friday of this week, North Dakota Job Services posted a total of seven new jobs this week.  Seven new jobs!  For the entire week!

April is the busiest time of the year in Dickinson for new employment.  Dickinson goes through a cold and snowy winter where a lot of outdoor work is postponed, and then there is a rush in April to hire workers for companies to get their work done in the Spring and Summer.  In 2011 through 2013 in Dickinson, during the spring, there were typically thirty to forty new jobs posted each week on North Dakota Job Services.  Then in 2014 through 2015, there were typically twenty to thirty new jobs posted each week on North Dakota Job Services.  This week there were seven!  A huge drop in new job postings!

It wasn’t just North Dakota Job Services in Dickinson.  For the month of April 2017, for the entire month up until April 21 on the website CareerBuilder, there were only five new jobs posted for Dickinson, if you don’t include enlisting in the National Guard.  Only five new jobs, for the entire month of April, on CareerBuilder for Dickinson!

Several years ago on the website CareerBuilder for Dickinson, North Dakota, there would have been approximately one hundred new jobs posted during the month of April.  For most towns the size of Dickinson not any where near the oil field, these towns probably had more new jobs posted in April than Dickinson’s five new job postings.

The local Catholic people here keep lying to everyone to try to get them to come to Dickinson, North Dakota so that they can rip them off on housing, and try to take advantage of them with their evil schemes and plans.  But people will quit coming once they find out that there are no jobs in Dickinson.

The businesses here in Dickinson will begin closing, one after another.  The commercial warehouses and industrial buildings will become vacant.  People will abandon their homes in order to get out of Dickinson.  Then the Catholics will begin killing each other and practicing cannibalism.  They will all get what is coming to them.

Don’t worry about me, I will leave before the cannibalism starts.

The Mood Right Now In Dickinson, North Dakota

Right now, it is the middle of April 2017.  After a long and cold winter, it appeared that it was going to warm up, and the sun was going to come out.  This past week, I tried several times to sit out in the sun on the back porch wearing shorts and no shirt, in order to try to get a tan.  I look better and I feel better when I have a sun tan.  Even though the clouds came, the wind picked up every day, and the temperature sometimes dropped into the 50s during the day, I still got a tan.

Through the winter, I had been going to the West River Community Center several times each week to walk and run the indoor track.  In between laps, or after all my laps were completed, I would do six sets of pull ups, sit ups, or push ups.  My physical condition is about the same or better than it was when I was 10 years old, 16 years old, or 26 years old.  Sometimes I do feel physically older though, partly because I am heavier, and partly because I have less energy.

Because it is Spring, because I have been exercising and my health is good, and because I don’t have a wife or any children, I feel about the same as when I was 10 years old, 16 years old, or 26 years old.  I am looking forward to riding my mountain bike, going kayaking, and going to the beach.

Sometimes at night I go to a bar or restaurant in Dickinson in order to get out of the house where I live in Dickinson.  The owner of the house is about twelve years older than me, but he acts like he is in his eighties because his attitude, outlook, mental health, and physical health is so bad.  His complaining, whining, drinking, and acting like an old man starts to suck the life right out of me, and I have to get away.

I feel much better when I leave the house at night to go somewhere.  However, my good mood in getting out of the house, and it being Spring, is brought down when I get to where I am going in Dickinson.  I was used to everyone being in a glum mood this winter because it was so cold and grey.  For the past couple of weeks, when the weather has been much nicer, when I met people that were in a bad mood, I attributed it to these people having problems.

However, for the past week, when I have gone to a particular bar and restaurant, I have noticed that everyone, both the employees and the customers, are in a bad mood.  I have met some high school girls, some young women that recently got engaged, some that recently got married, and some that recently got divorced, and they are all in a bad mood.  I am sick of all these women being in a bad mood, and being no fun at all.

I know some of these women, and every one of them seems like their problems overwhelm them.  Both the customers and the employees, the young women and the older women, seem like their problems have eliminated any fun, joy, and happiness in their lives.  What they have in common, is that they all appear to be scared.  They appear to be scared about money and employment.

They are scared about money and employment, regarding themselves, their boyfriends, their fiancees, their husbands, and their ex-husbands.  They have on their mind, are they going to stay at the job they have now, are they going to make enough money, will they lose their job, will their hours be cut, will they stay in the same apartment, will they lose their apartment, will they leave Dickinson, will their boyfriend, fiancee, or husband leave Dickinson to work elsewhere?

I have known, and have been writing for a year and a half, that the oil boom is over in Dickinson, North Dakota.  I have been writing for a year and a half, what the history of oil booms in North Dakota has been.  The oil booms last for about seven years, then they go away for about twenty-five years.  I have described over and over again, that the land owners and property owners gouged all of the out of state workers so bad on housing, raising housing prices 400% to 500%, that all of the out of state workers made up their minds that they were going to leave North Dakota as soon as the oil boom was over.

I guess that this prevailing bad mood in everyone in Dickinson now, is the realization in everyone that they are going to have enormous financial problems.

Imagine this, when everyone was employed in Dickinson, and working overtime, they went and rented the apartment they could afford, bought the house they could afford, bought the vehicle they could afford, and bought the jewelry or toys they could afford.  They didn’t buy less than what they could afford, they spent up to the limit of what they could afford.  Now when people have lost their job, or are working reduced hours, how are they going to pay for everything?  What are they going to lose, and when?

Some of the people that are here now in Dickinson, moved here from Michigan, Oregon, or Idaho just a few years ago because they went broke or were nearly broke in the state where they came from.  After two years of getting back on their feet financially a little bit at a time, they can now see their financial downfall coming again.

I am not in a bad mood now, because I have been angry and disgusted at Dickinson all along, for the past six years, ever since I first came here.  I have written over three hundred blog posts complaining about Dickinson.  Every time something bad happens to me in Dickinson, I write a blog post, sometimes two blog posts a day, and then I feel better.  I saw all of this coming.  In fact, something that cheers me up, and makes me want to stay in Dickinson, is the chance to see everyone in Dickinson get what is coming to them.

Very Few Job Openings Now In Dickinson, North Dakota

The Oil Boom was over in Dickinson, North Dakota by 2015.  About 80% of the out of state oil field workers left North Dakota in 2014 and 2015.  As I have already explained, and other reporters and researchers have explained, about 80% of the out of state oil field workers made up their minds soon after arriving in North Dakota, that they would never be able to live in North Dakota permanently due to the high cost of housing.  During the Oil Boom, an old one bedroom apartment rented for $1,500 per month, if you could even find one, and an old 3 bedroom/2 bathroom small house rented for $3,000 per month, if you could even find one.

As the out of state oil field workers began to leave North Dakota, the local land owners, the local business owners, property investors, property managers, real estate agents, and oil industry business people all kept telling everyone, “It will come back, everything will pick back up again.”  I hate being lied to.  And what I hate even more than being lied to, is someone trying to perpetuate a fraud and take advantage.  The Oil Boom is not coming back to North Dakota for another ten to twenty years, if at all.  The property owners, business owners, property investors, property managers, and real estate agents wanted to try to keep as many people here as possible, and try to get more people to move here, by lying to them.

I don’t want to see ordinary working people lose everything that they own, pawn everything that they own to pay for food and rent, and go bankrupt, because they relocated to Dickinson, North Dakota thinking that there were many high paying jobs here.  There are not many job openings in Dickinson, North Dakota at this time, and there are very few high paying jobs.

Back in 2011 to 2014, I would look at the North Dakota Job Services website to look at job listings in Dickinson, North Dakota.  At that time, there would be about twenty-five to forty-five new job listings each week.  At that time, there would typically be several new job openings each week for:  laborer, concrete worker, carpenter, electrician, plumber, equipment operator, roustabout, diesel mechanic, floor hand, utility locator, underground utility worker, truck driver, lease operator, survey crew worker, truck driver.

Now, in March of 2017, looking at the North Dakota Job Services website, there are less than twenty new job listings posted each week in Dickinson, North Dakota.  Of these less than twenty new job listings posted each week, about six or more of them are for nurses and doctors.  (Nurses and doctors don’t want to be in Dickinson for many different reasons.)  Of the fourteen or so other new job listings posted each week, about five of them are the recurring “nightmare jobs” from the “nightmare companies” in Dickinson.  To put it bluntly, the company owners and managers are so backwards, ignorant, and assinine, that someone quits these recurring “nightmare jobs” every week or two, and these jobs get re-posted.

Of the nine or so O.K. new job listings that are posted each week on the North Dakota Job Services website for Dickinson, North Dakota, an electrician job may pay O.K., a diesel mechanic job may still pay O.K., but there will not be many high paying jobs listed, or jobs where you work much overtime.

Please do not come to Dickinson, North Dakota unless you have a good job offer and have done some checking about the company you will be working for.  By checking about the company, I mean go and look on the internet to see how many times they have advertised this job and re-advertised this job repeatedly.  This indicates that people can not stand working for this company, and you won’t be able to either.  If the job that brought you to Dickinson doesn’t work out, there are very few other job openings at this time.

Decline In People, Employment, Business, And Real Estate In Dickinson, North Dakota

This last week of February 2017, I saw a decline in people, employment, business, and real estate in Dickinson, North Dakota.

In the business that I work for, there has been a very sharp decrease in work over the past year.  Early this week, I had to telephone the manager of a company here in Dickinson that I have been dealing with for a year and a half.  The owner of this business answered this manager’s cell phone and said that this manager was no longer with the company.  This was upsetting to me because this manager was very hard working, he put in many hours of overtime though he was on salary, and he had a wife and three children.  Knowing the manager, the company that he worked for, and what was going on at this company, I believe that he was let go due to a decline in business and an attempt to cut costs.  This manager and his family were not from North Dakota.  This manager was positive, upbeat, intelligent, and fun to work with.  I am sorry that he is gone.

There is a young woman in Dickinson that I like, that I had included in my blog post titled “List Of Attractive Women In Dickinson, North Dakota”.  I had not seen her for several months, and I was becoming concerned that something had happened to her too.  I have seen her father twice at the West River Community Center in the past several months, and once at an event in Dickinson, but not her.  In the past several months when I saw her father, he did not appear to be his normal self, he seemed unhappy and angry. She should have been at this event recently, because she is a human resources person at a company that was involved in the event.  This week I looked at her Linkedin.com page, and she is no longer working for this company in Dickinson, and she has moved to Montana.

This young woman who was a human resources person with a company here in Dickinson, I can’t believe that she isn’t working there any more.  I thought that she was very happy there and was well liked.  She was very pleasant, positive, intelligent, and funny.  I thought that she made that company better for being there, and made people want to work there.  She graduated from Dickinson State University a couple of years ago, and she has many friends in Dickinson.  Her family is not from North Dakota, her father came to Dickinson to work when the oil boom started.  Her mother, father, and younger sister are still living here, I can’t believe that she left.  I don’t think that she would have left Dickinson unless she lost her job, and I could only see that happening due to the company she worked for downsizing due to reduced work.

This morning I saw another young woman that I liked, that I hadn’t seen for several months.  I met her in 2014 where she worked.  She was a sophomore at Dickinson State University then.  She wasn’t from Dickinson, but she came to Dickinson because there was an oil boom, and she could work and go to school.  She recently completed her degree at Dickinson State University.  I asked her what she had been doing, and she told me that she was moving to Colorado next week.  I talked to her for a while, one of the things that I said was that I couldn’t believe that human resources young woman that we both knew, moved to Montana a couple of months ago.  This young woman that was moving to Colorado told me that she was so looking forward to getting out of Dickinson.  A woman that we know, asked her if her boyfriend was moving to Colorado with her, and she said no, he moved back to the state where he came from several months ago.

I was sad that she was leaving, I like her.  I felt bad for her that she had been living, working, and going to school in Dickinson for the past four or five years and now she is leaving her friends and everyone she knows, to go someplace where she doesn’t know anyone.  It is normal for people to leave and go someplace else when they graduate from college, but for the past eight years, Dickinson was a place that people from all over the United States tried to get to because of the many job openings and higher rate of pay.

Several times this week, I looked at job posting websites like Indeed.com, Monster.com, Careerbuilder.com, and North Dakota Job Service for job listings in Dickinson.  There were not very many job listings in Dickinson, and the jobs that were listed were not very good jobs as far as desirability, pay, job security, or job longevity.

On Sunday I read the Dickinson Press Newspaper.  In the classified section under housing, there was a 2 bedroom/1 bathroom house for rent for $600 per month, and one bedroom apartments for rent for $425 per month.  Three years ago, this house rental listing would have been $2,500 per month, and this apartment rental listing would have been $1,500 per month.

This Sunday edition of the Dickinson Press Newspaper came with a Home And Land Company Real Estate Guide.  This real estate guide from the Home And Land Company, had as many homes listed for sale now, as the whole entire Real Estate Guide for all the realtors in Dickinson used to have a couple of years ago.  There were many very nice homes for sale, some of the nicest homes in Dickinson, that must have belonged to the highest paid people in Dickinson.  It appears that many of the highest paid people in Dickinson must have lost their jobs, or had their business income greatly reduced in order to have to sell such nice homes.  There are plenty of working class people homes for sale too.

These people that I know losing their jobs or leaving Dickinson, the lack of very many good jobs posted in Dickinson, the greatly reduced rent of rental housing, and the greatly increased number of homes for sale, show that work and business has slowed down in Dickinson.

Current Indicators Of A Work Slow Down In Dickinson, North Dakota

On Wednesday February 15 at 8:30 p.m., I went to the new Family Fare Grocery store in Dickinson, North Dakota that opened in approximately 2015.  I would estimate that the shopping area in this grocery store is 300 ft long x 200 ft wide, pretty big.  In the parking lot there were about ten vehicles.  While shopping inside, I saw two other customers.  When I went to check out, none of the cash registers had a light on, and there were no cashiers on duty, not one.  This is the first grocery store that I have ever been to in my life that did not have a least one cash register open and one cashier on duty.  Keep in mind that it was now 8:45 p.m. on a Wednesday night, and it was a good weather night, not cold and not snowing.

I went through a self-check out line to pay for my groceries.  On the way out, I looked to see if they had anyone working at their coffee shop, and there was not a soul around.  At the old Family Fare Grocery store beside Runnings, and at this new Family Fare Grocery store near Menards, I had noticed that through the latter part of 2016 and into 2017, these two stores began to minimize their staff more and more.  But not having even one cashier on duty seemed very drastic.

But if I think back a little further, the Family Fare Grocery store and the Wal-Mart in Dickinson had both been open 24 hours a day up until approximately the end of 2015.  I can remember when there used to be a long line at the check out in the Family Fare Grocery store in Dickinson at 8:30 p.m. on a week night.  I can remember when there were more shoppers in the Family Fare Grocery store in Dickinson at 2:00 a.m., than there are now at 8:30 p.m.

On Saturday afternoon February 11th, I had to go to the Ace Hardware store in Dickinson.  I regretted that I had not gone there during the week, I thought that the store would be crowded and very busy on Saturday.  When I got there, I thought that the store must have closed at noon or something, because there were no cars in the parking lot, and hardly any cars in the parking spaces in front of the store.  The store wasn’t closed.  There were only two customers inside.  Since 2011 when I first came to Dickinson, I have never seen the Ace Hardware parking lot anywhere near that vacant.

In the same shopping center where the Ace Hardware store is located, there is the King Buffet Chinese restaurant.  This has been one of the most popular restaurants in Dickinson for the past several years because it is all-you-can-eat, it is not expensive, they have a variety of food, and the food is pretty good.  In approximately 2014 this restaurant nearly doubled its size by expanding into the adjacent business spaces.  Driving by the King Buffet Chinese restaurant this past week after 8:00 p.m., the parking lot was nearly vacant, there were hardly any customers.

Throughout Dickinson, the local people who own homes here, keep saying, “The oil field work is picking up again, it is coming back.”  I see no evidence for this, the evidence shows the exact opposite.  I hate and dislike local people saying, “The oil field work is picking up again, it is coming back.”, because this is an outright lie, meant to keep people here and prevent the real estate prices from collapsing.  I don’t like people trying to lie to and trick other people for financial gain.

The only thing that I see happening, is oil production continuing at current levels, and the people involved in maintaining the current level of production keeping their jobs.  I believe that for the next several years, the number of oil well drill rigs operating in North Dakota will be between 40 to 80 drill rigs.  I don’t see any reason for a mad rush to drill as many oil wells as possible as quickly as possible, because a great number of oil wells being completed and coming into production at the same time would make an oversupply of oil, and cause an oil price drop that would make each of the new oil wells not profitable.  It seems obvious at this point, due to the current low price of oil, that oversupply of oil makes oil wells not profitable.

Because of the steady rate of oil production, and 40 to 80 drill rigs operating, there will not be a huge demand for new workers in the oil field in North Dakota in the next several years.  Many workers will not have the opportunity to work a great deal of overtime hours.  Pay will not be as high as it had been during the oil boom years of 2007 through 2015.  The decrease in pay, the decrease in the demand for housing, and people leaving the area due to the inability to find replacement jobs when jobs are lost, will make the price of housing decrease.  My guess would be that the price of housing in Dickinson will decrease 10% by the end of 2017.

The Fate Of Workers & People Relocating To Dickinson, Illustrated By Some Statistics

Here are some brief statistics on what working and relocating to Dickinson, North Dakota is like.  I have compiled some numbers from the places that I have worked in Dickinson.  I show the number of people employed at each company while I was working there, the number of these people that I worked with who remain in Dickinson to this day, and the number of these people who were severely injured, having a lifelong injury:

1) At my first job in in Dickinson in 2011:

Total co-workers = 10, Number of these people still in Dickinson = 3, Severely injured = 4

2) At my second job in Dickinson in 2011:

Total co-workers = 8, Number of these people still in Dickinson = 3, Severely injured = 3


3) At my third job in Dickinson in 2013:

Total co-workers = 10, Number of these people still in Dickinson = 0, Severely injured = 0

4) At my fourth job in Dickinson on in 2013:

Total co-workers = 13, Number of these people still in Dickinosn = 3, Severely injured = 1


5) At my fifth job in Dickinson in 2014:

Total co-workers = 10, Number of these people still in Dickinson = 7, Severely injured = 0


To summarize and point out something important, since 2011, I have worked with 51 co-workers in Dickinson, 35 of these co-workers have moved away from Dickinson (the majority of them leaving the state), and only 16 of these co-workers have remained in Dickinson. In other words, 69% of the people that I worked with in Dickinson in the past five years have moved away!  (The majority of them leaving the state.)

The Chamber of Commerce in Dickinson, North Dakota would never publicize or tell anyone considering moving to Dickinson, North Dakota, that 69% of the people that come to work in Dickinson will leave within five years!

16% of the people that I worked with in the past five years in Dickinson were severely injured.

10% of the people that I worked with in the past five years in Dickinson were arrested and convicted of DUI, that I know of.

At the first two companies that I worked for in Dickinson in 2011, nearly 50% of the workers were severely injured.  I was nearly severely injured or killed at these two companies many times.

Yes, I made more money here in Dickinson than I would have where my home is in Idaho.  Most of my blog posts describe and explain what living in Dickinson, North Dakota is like: unfriendly, uncooperative, hostile, shortage of women, lack of attractive women, bad service everywhere, extremely high rent, extremely aggressive DUI enforcement, police placing advertisements for prostitutes, nothing to do, and very controlled for many years in not letting anyone get ahead.

Feel free to go ahead and think, ask, or say, “Well, if you hate it so much why do you stay?”  I evaluate living in Dickinson, every day, several times a day.  Just about every minute of every day, I wish that I were some place else.  I think about what the economy is like everywhere that I have been, and everywhere that I can think of.  I haven’t used my home and automobiles in Idaho for five years, I would like to be there, it is a nice environment, there are many enjoyable things to do, the people are fairly pleasant, and it is not difficult to date healthy attractive women.  I am here in Dickinson because it is easier to make money, though it is harder to live.  In order to try to make a home and a living here in Dickinson, I have four trucks, equipment, trailers, motorcycles, mountain bikes, kayaks, and all kinds of stuff here.  But is sucks so bad here in Dickinson, that I look at internet job sites to see if I could get a job in Salt Lake City or Boise and make a little bit more money than what it costs to live in a hotel room.

How Dickinson Treats Educated People

I have lived in Dickinson, North Dakota for four years now.  In the past two years, I have written approximately two hundred blog posts.  I have stated that the purpose of this blog is to write the truth about Dickinson, so that people from out of state who are considering moving here will have correct information, so that the people who recently arrived here can understand what is going on, and so that the long time residents can see what other people experience in Dickinson.

My primary motivation in creating this blog website was probably anger.  I was angry about the way people from out of state were mistreated in Dickinson.  I was angry about how I was mistreated.  I was angry about it, I didn’t like it, and I wanted to do something about it.

For at least the past year, anyone, anywhere in the world who wants to know anything about Dickinson, North Dakota, gets their information from me.  Anyone who looks up “living in Dickinson”, “moving to Dickinson”, “relocating to Dickinson”, “what is Dickinson North Dakota like”, “people in Dickinson”, “economy in Dickinson”, “women in Dickinson”, “Catholics in Dickinson”, “corruption in Dickinson”, my website comes up at the top or near the top of the search results.

I am happy that my blog website about Dickinson, North Dakota comes up at the top or near the top of the first page of search results so that everyone in the world can know how badly out of state workers were mistreated and taken advantage of in Dickinson.  Below I will give one example.

In 2014 there was a well known manufacturing company in Dickinson that had a job advertisement for an estimator, designer, and drafter.  I applied for this job.  I had a bachelor of science in engineering, had worked for several years and several companies as an estimator, and had worked for several years and several companies as a designer and drafter.  This manufacturing company offered to pay me $18 per hour, forty hours per week, which equals $720 per week.

In 2014 in Dickinson, a concrete laborer was paid about $18 per hour, worked sixty hours per week, and made about $1,260 per week.  A road construction flagger was paid about $20 per hour, worked sixty hours per week, and made about $1,400 per week.

The difference between a concrete laborer, a road construction flagger, and an engineer is this:  an engineer most likely graduated from high school at the top of his class or he would not have been admitted to an engineering college, he had a very difficult five to six years of college which cost anywhere from $40,000 to $100,000, and, a concrete laborer or flagged didn’t graduate from high school.

The majority of people in Dickinson so hate people with an education, that they offer engineers 1/2 the weekly pay of laborers who didn’t even graduate from high school.

Most of the manufacturing companies and other companies in Dickinson disrespect and mistreat degreed engineers in every way possible, because they hate educated people.  The people in Dickinson like this, that is why they do it.

Now that the Oil Boom has gone away, Dickinson is going to have economic difficulty because it has very few industries that are not oil field related or oil field dependent.  If you disrespect and mistreat engineers, and have done so for years, yes, you will have a lack of manufacturing and industry in your area.

I know how poor Dickinson was prior to the first Oil Boom in the 1950s, and in between the Oil Boom of the late 1970s and the Oil Boom of 2007.  You all can go back to growing corn and sunflowers now to earn your living.  I want to stick around so that I can see each and every one of you, get what is coming to you, after you mistreated and took advantage of all the out of state workers for the past eight years.

Creating Work And Industries In Dickinson And Watford City, North Dakota, Part I

In several of my recent blog posts, I wrote that Dickinson and Watford City are about to enter into a Recession because oil drilling operations are not going to increase in the next six months, possibly not in twelve months, possibly not in twenty-four months.  In the past year, I saw at least one newspaper article that was about business people, city government, and state government trying to figure out what industries in western North Dakota could possibly take the place of oil drilling.  I have not heard much news about progress being made in developing new industries in western North Dakota.

For more than a year, from time to time, I have thought about what local North Dakotans are good at, what they know how to do, what they can do, and what is already here.  Local North Dakotans are good mechanics, fabricators, and welders.  Local North Dakotans like to stay inside and work on things in garages during the Winter, that is what comes natural to them.

I am not at all joking about this, when I say that local North Dakotans would be good boat builders.  I know a lot about all different kinds of boats, and if I was personally well-off financially, even if I did not need a boat, which I don’t, I would not hesitate to commission some local North Dakotans to build a boat for me, because I could easily sell it.  I will give several examples, and I may not get through all of them in Part I of this blog post.

In every state in the United States, both recreationally and commercially, people use aluminum boats on rivers, lakes, bayous, swamps, and reservoirs.  The simplest aluminum boats, are open, flat bottom, slightly narrowed bow, with squared off stern.  They usually have aluminum bench seats going cross wise, with styrofoam flotation blocks under the seats.  In many states, people want the most open and simplest aluminum boat that they can get, with some sturdiness to it, oar locks, a few cleats, and a strong enough stern for an outboard motor.

All around Dickinson and Watford City, I have seen 40′ free-span aluminum security gates, which are very well done, so I know that there are fabricators around here that are good at fabricating and welding aluminum.  Steffes Corporation, Worthington Industries, and Fisher Industries in Dickinson make different kinds of steel structures, steel equipment, and steel machinery that is much larger, more complicated, and more demanding than aluminum boats.

Another type of aluminum boats that are very popular are pontoon boats.  I know that these fabricators around here that have been making large tanks, can just as easily make pontoons.  Pontoon boats are liked by Red-necks because they are simple, have a lot of room, are inexpensive, and fun.  Pontoon boats are supposed to have comfortable seating and cabinets, so a company like TMI in Dickinson might make the on-deck components.

People in North Dakota and all of the surrounding states could and would actually use the aluminum boats that would be made in North Dakota, but the whole United States is the potential market.  I am not joking about this in any way.  The local people in North Dakota like fabricating, like welding, like working inside in the Winter, and they like pontoon boats.

I am not saying or suggesting that an investor is going to get rich starting recreational boat manufacturing in North Dakota.  However the companies that are already here like Steffes, Worthington, Fisher Industries, and TMI already have the personnel and equipment to begin building simple recreational boats.  They also have the personnel and equipment to begin building floating docks and floating structures.  Once some experience is gained in building recreational boats and floating structures, specialized boats and floating structures can be built for other industries and the government.

How manufacturers do become rich, is by building and supplying equipment to the government and the military.  When a manufacturer demonstrates that they have the ability to fabricate a variety of things well, they have the opportunity to bid on and provide proposals for military and government equipment.  More on this in Part II.

Recommendations For People In Dickinson And Watford City Regarding The Recession

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.”

Entering A Recession In Western North Dakota

Many people will groan or curse as soon as they see the title of this blog post.  I want to be very vocal about the Recession that western North Dakota is about to enter into.  I want to warn as many people as possible, as soon as possible.

It is very clear now that oil drilling operations are not going to increase in the next six months, maybe not in twelve months, maybe not in twenty-four months.  The only things that could cause a sudden demand for increased U.S. oil production would be a war, or an oil embargo by the Middle East.

There are very few job listings in newspapers and on internet job sites.  I have seen the wage rate decrease by several dollars per hour for some of the jobs that are listed.  The rents advertised by the recently completed apartment buildings decrease every month as people move away, vacancy rates increase, units become harder to rent, and people are being paid much less money due in part to no overtime being worked.

Driving around Dickinson, Belfield, and Watford City, there is much less traffic, very mild traffic in morning and evening rush hour, and hardly any traffic at all at night.  Very few people are going to restaurants and bars.  Wal-Mart and the grocery stores are not very busy.

Not everyone is going to be able to remain in western North Dakota.  There will not be enough jobs to go around.  The highest pay jobs will be mechanics at the car dealers, and nurses at the hospitals.  A few city government, state government, and federal government employees will lose their jobs here locally, government workers will lose some jobs.  It will come to the point in about a year, that there will be so many people here locally seeking any kind of work, that all the retail jobs will pay about $9 to $10 per hour, and the fast food jobs will pay about $8 per hour, and people will be competing fiercely for these jobs.  There will simply not be enough jobs to go around, and the wage rate will drop.

Heavy equipment mechanics, mechanics, equipment operators, electricians, plumbers, and welders that can’t find work in western North Dakota, should be able to find work elsewhere in the United States where they are building, possibly some place like Denver.  These workers already know this.

Retail workers and fast food workers, there might not be high wages anywhere else in the U.S., but there are places where the cost of living is less, and it is warmer.

All the crazy, mentally ill, trashy women that came to North Dakota because they couldn’t get a job where they came from, I believe that they will probably stay here in North Dakota, because they have no money, no where to go, and no body wants them.  They know, they know that even if they could get hired at Dennys or Cracker Barrel in a different state, the managers, co-workers, and customers wouldn’t put up with their meth addict demeanor and attitude for five minutes.

If You Have To Leave Dickinson Or Watford City To Go Work Out Of State, Part II

I am writing these two blog posts, Part I & Part II, about having to leave North Dakota and go work or look for work out of state because this information is necessary now.  There are very few job openings in western North Dakota right now.  I spent this Labor Day weekend in Watford City, and it was like a ghost town.  On Sunday and Monday, the long drive into town on 25 mph Hwy 23 Business, I might have seen one or two other vehicles

In my previous blog post, Part I, I wrote that I recommend taking a truck or SUV out of state instead of a car if you are able, because you will be safer in a larger vehicle.  I wrote that you should have some kind of sturdy trunk or lock box, chained to a car seat.  You are going to need to take your social security card, birth certificate, laptop computer, check books, firearm, and extra cash with you, so you had better have a lock box to put things in, and one that a thief can’t break your vehicle window and take.

I also wrote in my previous blog post, Part I, that you should plan on sleeping in your vehicle while you are traveling to get where you are going, rather than trying to stay in a motel every night.  Once you get to where you are going, you had better be constantly observing what kind of neighborhood you are in.  Before you get to where you are going, you need to look at a map closely and make note of all the little towns that surround where you are going.

For instance, surrounding Dallas there are the smaller suburbs of Euless, Richland Hills, Westlake, White Settlement, Watauga, and many others.  Some of the areas around Dallas are really bad, and you needed to know where they were so you could avoid them, or if you drove into a bad area accidentally, you would know how to get back to a safe area.  At first, not knowing my way around Dallas, I stayed in an extended stay motel about twenty miles north of Dallas in the smaller college town of Denton.

If I ever have to go to work in a big city again, I would try to stay at an older mom & pop motel a good ways outside of the city.  The new extended stay motels that have been built in and around cities for workers that are just arriving or only staying for a couple of months, they cost about $700 per week, $2,800 per month, which is too much, especially if you don’t have a job.

An older mom & pop motel outside of a city will probably cost less, and if you explain to the owners or managers what you are trying to do, and you do what you said you were going to do, find a job, the owners understand that you are not there to party or deal drugs, and can be very reasonable on weekly rent.  I stayed at a mom & pop motel owned by a Korean husband & wife in Colorado for several months, and at a mom & pop motel owned by a Mormon husband & wife in Arizona for several months.  The motel owners were always there, they knew what was going on, who everyone was, and it was very safe, secure, and inexpensive compared to new extended stay motels, or apartments.

Yes, I stayed at older mom & pop motels for months.  I really enjoyed staying there.  I was in a new city, I didn’t know what the city was like, what the people were like, where I would find a job.  But I didn’t have to worry about high rent, rent deposit, a lease, or utilities.  When I did start a new job, I knew when managers or co-workers started acting pushy or crazy, “O.K., start acting crazy, I don’t care, I’ll just leave.”  And I could just leave.

I mentioned in my previous blog post that you do not want to bring your wife, girlfriend, or children with you when you go to work out of state.  At first while traveling, you will be sleeping in your vehicle to save time and money.  Then, when you get to where you are going, you need to find an older mom & pop motel, and explain to the managers or owners what you are doing, your family is back home, you are by yourself.  Your wife or girlfriend would not want to stay in an older motel outside of a city.  Your wife or girlfriend may think that you need to get an apartment.  No!  Absolutely Not!

When you have to go to work away from home, your financial outlook is probably not good.  You need to quickly find a job, spend as little money as possible, and start saving money.  When you begin a new job, management and co-workers may not like you.  You may not be smart enough, knowledgeable enough, quick enough, good enough, or well liked.  You could lose your job in a week, or a month, and not ever see it coming.  So save your money, spend as little money as possible.  Do not sign an apartment lease!  You have no idea what is going to happen with your employment.  Let your wife and children stay back in North Dakota if at all possible.  Depending on what happens in the first city that you try, you may have to try to find work in a different city, or in a different state.

If You Have To Leave Dickinson Or Watford City To Go Work Out Of State, Part I

For the past seven months while working in Watford City, I have seen several of my neighbors move out and move away each month because they lost their job. During the past several weeks I have been looking at the internet job site Indeed.com, and the North Dakota Job Services website, for job listings in Watford City and Dickinson, and there are very few jobs.  Yes, there is a similar job advertisement for Registered Nurses that gets repeated over and over, but there always is.  Lately there is usually a job listing for a heavy equipment mechanic, an electrician, a welder, and a truck driver, and I mean one listing for one position.  The amount of jobs advertised for Watford City and Dickinson is probably the same as, or less than Bismarck, Fargo, or Billings.  At this time, more of the out of state workers will have to return home, start over again in some other city away from home, and maybe even some local Watford City and Dickinson residents will have to leave and go to work out of state.

I want to give some recommendations and warnings to people who are not experienced in having to leave home and go to work out of state, and give some reminders to those who do have to have to look for work out of state from time to time.

I can not warn North Dakotans strongly enough that it will not be easy or safe going to look for work out of state.  When I went to look for work in Dallas, Texas in 2012, the very first night that I was there in a motel, someone took a utility knife, shoved the blade in my truck tire and broke it off.   I believe that it was this angry black guy, who somehow didn’t like the Idaho license plate on my truck, thinking that Idahoans were racist.  People in Texas don’t even know where Idaho is on the map.  If you recall from the national news in July of this year, a black man shot six white police officers in Dallas.  You had better believe me that in Dallas and Houston, which are about 40% Black, that they don’t like Whites, and that they will rob you and assault you as if you were in Somalia, especially, especially because you are White and have a North Dakota license plate.

You need to obtain a concealed weapons permit while you are still in North Dakota, before you leave to go to try to find a job in states like Texas, Arizona, Colorado, or Florida.  Most states honor other states’ concealed weapons licenses.  Traveling in an area with an out of state license plate, being unfamiliar with the area, is very dangerous.  When you are driving, at a gas station, at a restaurant, or at a motel, you are very likely to be the victim of robbery or a theft.  If you are from North Dakota, I don’t know how I am going to make you understand how prevalent crime is outside of North Dakota, and how likely you are to be victimized while traveling out of state.  You need to have a firearm on your person, and in your vehicle, but you need to have a concealed weapons permit because you are more likely to be stopped by the police and have your vehicle searched with an out of state license plate.

When you go to work or look for work out of state, I recommend that you take a truck or SUV instead of a car if possible, bigger is better up to a point.  There are several reasons for this.  One, when you are in traffic and unfamiliar with the roads and highways, people will let you change lanes and try to stay out of your way more when you are in a larger vehicle.  Two, when you are unfamiliar with roads in an area, and you make a mistake, with a larger vehicle people make an extra effort to move out of the way and not get hit with your vehicle.  Three, if you have an accident, with a larger vehicle you are more likely to have a vehicle that has survived the accident and you can continue trying to find work, rather than having a car that is destroyed and having to take a bus back to North Dakota.

What I have done for the past fifteen years, whether in the backseat of my truck or the backseat of my SUV, I have a large sturdy trunk which has a padlock, and the padlock has a chain which locks the trunk to a seat frame.  A thief would have to break my vehicle window to unlock the door, but the thief could not carry away the trunk because it is chained to the seat, and it would make a lot of noise and take a while to beat the trunk open.  What crack heads and meth addicts are looking for, are certain items that are easy to grab out of vehicles, typical items in plain view:  pocket book, wallet, check book, CD collection, radar detector, laptop computer, briefcase.  I try to keep valuables and things that I don’t want to get stolen, locked in the trunk in the backseat.

I hope you know that you are going to have to sleep in your vehicle mostly when you are going to work or looking for work out of state.  When you are driving a long way, it is better to pull into a rest area and sleep for a while when you get tired, and when you feel like driving again, drive.  Planning on staying in a motel while trying to get somewhere is like planning on wasting time and wasting money.  If you try to get your money’s worth out of your motel, you are just wasting time there.  It doesn’t matter that you are wrinkled when you are trying to get where you are going, and if you look a little rough it probably actually keeps people away from you when you are traveling.  You do want to get cleaned up as much as you can before you meet people regarding your employment.

I didn’t say anything about it, because I wasn’t thinking about it because I am not married, you don’t want to bring your wife or girlfriend with you when you are going to look for work out of state, because it will not be fun or pleasant.  If your family’s financial outlook is bad enough to where you have to look for work out of state, you don’t want to take your wife or girlfriend with you and try to make it a pleasant trip, because it will cost you about four times as much: stopping at restaurants for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; staying at a “nice” motel every night.

I will cover this in more detail in Part II, but you absolutely need to leave your wife and children behind when you go to work out of state, and for at least several months after you begin working.  If you don’t do it this way, you will very likely end up worse off than if you hadn’t gone to work out of state at all.

Answering A Reader’s Questions About Buying A Home Now In Dickinson, North Dakota

Do not buy a home now in Dickinson, North Dakota unless the price is very low, and it is a property that you will be able to rent out in the future.  I will thoroughly explain why I make this statement.  But I need to caution you right away that you do not want to let your employer or your coworkers find out that you are having any hesitation in wanting to buy a home in Dickinson.  Employers want to see that their employees are committed to being here, that they are dependent on their job here, and that they don’t plan on leaving.  Your coworkers will tell on you, believe me they will.  They all know that you are renting, and that you are looking at houses to buy.  The husband needs to blame the wife, that she is just so picky, the wife says, “The yard is too dark, the yard is too small, the bathroom is too small, the closets are too small, the kitchen is outdated, the bedrooms are too small.”  That way, everybody will just think that there is no pleasing his wife, everybody might even feel sorry for the husband, and have admiration for him in persevering with such a difficult wife.  The wife can blame the husband for not being able to find the right house, and everybody will just think the wife is crazy.  However, no one can find out that the truth is you are skeptical about buying a house in Dickinson right now.

Reasons not to buy a house in Dickinson, North Dakota right now:

  1. There is about a 50% chance that the oil field work in western North Dakota will continue to decrease, for years.  Not only will oil field related jobs continue to decrease, all jobs in all areas of the economy will subsequently decrease.  You can research this for yourself by reading about the history of North Dakota, and by talking to old local people that are not in business or real estate.  A good website to read is “A Brief History Of North Dakota Oil Production”, which is a collection of newspaper articles from the past about the Oil Boom in the 1950s, and the Oil Boom in the 1970s.  Supplement your reading by talking to old blue collar workers in Dickinson.  They will tell you about the difficulty in getting any employment for ten years after the 1970s Oil Boom, and that all employment was very low wage.  What I am telling you is there is a 50% chance that you or your husband may lose your job in a year or two, and that so will everybody else.  You will not want to live here, because there will be very few jobs, and they will be low paying jobs.  You will not be able to sell your house, because everyone else will be trying to sell their house too, and no one will have any money.  This all happened before in Dickinson, go read about it for yourself, and go ask old local blue collar workers.
  2. This is somewhat related to Reason #1, but I need to explain this separately.  I will begin by saying that the home prices are too high in Dickinson right now.  But let’s just say that you find a home that you like for $350,000 right now, and that this price seems fair.  Reading about the history of Dickinson, and talking to old local people, you find out what happened after the Oil Boom of the 1970s.  Based on what happened in the past, this house that you bought for $350,000 right now, two years from now if the oil field work has continued to decrease, you might not be able to sell this house for $180,000 because everyone else will be trying to sell their house too, no one will want to live here, and no one will have any money.  It is not that your house is worth so little money, it is that no one wants it, everybody wants to leave.  Do you want to lose that much money?  Are you prepared to leave the state and rent your house out?  Is your house the kind of property that you could rent out?
  3. There is a 50% chance that the price of oil will climb, will remain high, and oil drilling operations will begin again in North Dakota.  You can go and read for yourself news articles from all the different oil companies where they state, “In order for our company to begin again with drilling operations, the price of oil would have to climb to over $60 per barrel and remain there for several months before we would take any action.  Then, at that time we would begin bringing personnel back in all areas of operations.  It would take nine to twelve months to get enough personnel back to resume full operation.”  What this means to me, is that as long as the price of oil is low, employment in North Dakota will not increase. There will continue to be new apartment buildings with occupancy rates of 30%.  Apartment rents will continue to decrease, consequently house rents will continue to decrease.  There is no justification for home prices to remain high, other than wishful thinking of the homeowners and real estate agents.  Where are the owners of these houses that are for sale?  Are they still making high wages in the oil field, probably not.  How long can they afford to pay $2,000 to $3,000 per month mortgages, not forever, because if they could afford to wait, they would just wait for the Oil Boom to come back and make a profit.  They are not waiting because they can’t wait, they need to sell, more and more each day as they keep having to pay their mortgages, and new apartment rents become lower and lower.  A buyer right now can afford to wait for prices to drop in Dickinson.  A buyer should look at everything that is available, know what is available, and wait.  If the price of oil climbs for several months, and remains high for several months, and oil companies begin increasing their personnel, that might be the time to consider buying a house if you plan on staying in Dickinson and the oil field may be busy for more than a couple of years.  But you will have several months of advance warning before you have to decide whether to buy or not.
  4. Since you don’t have to hurry up and buy anything right now,  Keep Looking.  I would not only be looking for my ideal house, I would be looking for something that might be a really good deal.  This good deal could be a house closer to Belfield, South Heart, Richardton, or Gladstone, that may have so much land, have such a good view, or be so low priced that you feel it is too good to pass up.

To answer your question about real estate agents, property managers, and property investors gouging people.  Prior to 2007, there were three bedroom/two bathroom older homes in Dickinson that sold for $30,000 to $40,000 and rented for about $400 to $600 per month.  Retail workers, restaurant workers, construction workers, and retirees lived in these homes.  By 2011 these rents had increased to $3,000 per month, about five to six times what they had been.  The retail worker and restaurant worker wages increased by maybe 40%.  The construction worker wages increased by maybe 50% to 60%.  The retiree income might have increased by 5%.  But the rent increased by 500%.

All over Dickinson, the price of goods and services increased.  Grocery prices might have increased 15%, car repair prices might have increased 15% to %25.  Everybody could understand 15% to 25% price increases, but not the 500% housing price increase.  Everybody who moved to Dickinson to work was angry about the cost of housing and being ripped off.  Everybody who moved to Dickinson decided right away that as soon as the Oil Boom was over, they were leaving.  No one wanted to stay or could afford to stay after they lost their oil field job.  The real estate agents, property managers, and property investors might have been able to gouge people for about five years, but the people got gouged so bad that they all left, and now nobody wants to live here.  All the other business owners have the real estate agents, property managers, and property investors to thank for ruining what could have been permanent growth of the area.  All over the United States for the next fifty years, people will be talking about how bad North Dakota was, and really most of everybody’s bad experience was being gouged on housing.

Regional Construction Manager Quit, And I Don’t Blame Him

In Watford City, at my third job, the manager of my manager, recently resigned. He was the regional manager, responsible for all construction activities in North Dakota. I was sorry to hear that he resigned. I did not see this coming. He was in his late fifties, calm, steady, controlled, and having more energy than anyone I know.

I don’t blame him for quitting. The owners of this company have management teams in Texas and New York City, and they were calling daily to quiz and question the managers. The management teams wanted to put constant pressure on the managers here in North Dakota, thinking that this was necessary to make them perform optimally. In my opinion, when this happens, you tell management to get somebody else.

The regional manager here in North Dakota was extremely intelligent, highly competent, very knowledgeable about all areas of finance, business, and construction. I see no way that this company will be able to find anyone equaling his abilities. This is exactly the kind of person you let alone to do their job, because there is no one that could do this job as well or better.

One of the reasons that this company did such a stupid thing as to make this regional manager quit, is because they are from Texas, they are stupid, obnoxious, loud-mouthed, know-it-alls. Likewise, the managers in New York City are also pushy, obnoxious, know-it-alls. I don’t know which is worse, people from Texas or people from New York City.

Why do they know better than the regional manager here in North Dakota? Because of the recent internet and newspaper articles like “Oil Boom Headed For North Dakota! (It’s About To Get Crazy Again!)”. In one of my recent blog posts I explained that this article was a desperate attempt by people in Williston to get people to move to Williston to occupy their nearly vacant new apartments. I was angry about this article because it was spreading misinformation that would cause people harm.

The company managers in Texas and New York City read articles like “Oil Boom Headed For North Dakota! (It’s About To Get Crazy Again!)”, where it stated that the population of Williston was going to climb from 30,000 to 80,000, and new construction was needed right now. How could this be? All the managers in North Dakota have been saying that new construction occupancy rates are at 30%, and that 80% of the oil field workers have already left Western North Dakota.

The managers here in North Dakota tried their best to explain what was happening here. In order to operate a business you have to understand what is actually happening in your environment and have a strategy to succeed in that environment. Right now in North Dakota, it is not the time for property developers to buy more property, to create more subdivisions, to build more apartments, for construction companies to hire more employees, to buy more equipment, because most new construction is at 30% occupancy, and may even decrease.

Outlook For Dickinson, North Dakota

I have stated that the purpose of this blog is to provide truthful, useful information about Dickinson, so that people from out of state can make an informed decision whether to move to Dickinson. I also want local people to consider what I write, to see what people from out of state experience in Dickinson.

Due to the current low price of oil, almost all oil well drilling has stopped in North Dakota. Almost all of the oil drill rigs have been moved into storage yards. Compared to 2013, before the price of oil dropped, about 80% of the oil field jobs have been eliminated.

The effect of the oil field jobs being eliminated, is that every other sector of the economy has experienced a slow down, except for moving truck rental. Most of the oil field workers who lost their jobs have returned to the states where they came from. One of the main reasons the workers left so quickly was because housing was so expensive here, and it was so cold here, there was no point in staying.

I see no indication that the price of oil is going to quickly climb back to over $100 per barrel. Even if it did, the oil companies would hesitate to restart anything in North Dakota, they would have to wait and see if the price of oil was going to remain high. Then, if they did decide to restart, it would take a year to get all the people, service companies, trucking companies, and equipment up to speed again.

So, for at least the next year, there will be an economic decline in Western North Dakota. Like I said, even if the price of oil did go back up, the oil companies would have to wait and see that it remained high before they could make the decision to start large scale operations again. In Dickinson, Watford City, and Williston, about 40% of the rental housing is vacant. Williston is trying to force the closure of man camps, so that the remaining workers will have to rent apartments.

It would not be a good idea to move to Western North Dakota at this time. Though there are job openings in places like hospitals, overall the number of jobs will decrease. People will continue to lose their jobs and move back to the states where they came from. Though you may have been hired at a hospital, in about a year when the population has decreased even more, they may need less personnel at the hospital, that means you.

Beginning in 2015, though I had a job, I had to begin doing a second job at outside self employment. Then in 2016, I had to begin doing a third job in Watford City. If I didn’t have these three jobs, I would not be able to pay my bills. So what I am trying to tell you, is that it is not very busy in Dickinson, and now is not a good time to move to Dickinson.

Economy in Dickinson, March 2016

I will try to give a brief look at the Economy in Dickinson, in March 2016, using people that I know as examples.

I was making very little money working two jobs in Dickinson this winter, so I got a third job working in Watford City.  I was very lucky to get this job, jobs are scarce.

A friend of mine in Dickinson that I have known for two years, this winter was the poorest and most financially desperate he has been in the past eight years.  I got him a job working with me in Watford City.  He was very lucky to get this job, jobs are scarce.

A friend of mine in Dickinson that I have known since 2011, who has a CDL and does construction work, he became completely broke and had to return to Wyoming in November of 2015.  He could not get another job in Dickinson.

A college educated friend of mine who has lived in Dickinson since 2008, he left Dickinson in December of 2015, due to lack of professional work prospects.

An electrician who I have known in Dickinson since 2013, he had been doing well financially in 2014 and 2015, now he is very nearly broke.  Not a lot of work prospects for him.

At the Church that I was going to, there are three truck drivers, each with a wife and kids.  One truck driver had lost his job in October and has not been able to get another one.  A second truck driver has been expecting to lose his job any day now for the past two months, the company he is working for is going out of business.  About 5% of the Church members have left the state since October due to lack of work.

A friend of mine who I have known since 2011, co-founded a trucking company in Dickinson in 2012.  His trucking company went out of business by the end of 2014.  He has been broke since the Spring of 2015.

To date, the only oil field worker that I have ever met, that I know now, who is not broke or nearly broke, is a wireline operator whose wife is a nurse.  He and his wife own moderate vehicles, and they live in an older townhouse.  He has been out of work for nine months, but his wife is still employed as a nurse.

Economic Information for Dickinson, North Dakota

In several of my recent blog posts, I mentioned where I got some of my information to explain the current economic situation in Dickinson, North Dakota.  I think that my best source was the website titled “A Brief History of Oil Production in North Dakota”, because this site did not present the website creator’s opinion, instead it was a collection of newspaper articles from North Dakota newspapers going back sixty-five years that recorded events after they had just happened.  Another good source that I found was an article submitted by “Oilman2” to the website “RuralPioneer”, that explained among other things, that North Dakota oil is relatively difficult and expensive to extract, it requires deep drilling, horizontal drilling, fracturing, and can only be produced when the price of oil is high.  The first source that I mentioned above, clearly showed that there had been a boom-to-bust cycle in North Dakota in the 1950s, and the 1970s, it gave all the reasons why, what the growth was like, and what the decline was like.  The second source that I mentioned above, explained why there is always a boom-to-bust cycle whenever and wherever oil production occurs.

The two sources of information that I mentioned above, gave information that did not lead to a good economic outlook for western North Dakota.  In many of my earlier blog posts, I based some of what I wrote on information contained in the “Dickinson Press” newspaper, “The Drill” newspaper, and “The Bakken” magazine.  Though the information in these three publications has been accurate, these publications have most often tried to not say anything too negative, because they rely on revenue from advertisement sales, and they have tried to be a supporter of the western North Dakota economy.  All the businesses and business owners in western North Dakota thought that the best thing for them to do, was to keep a positive outlook going.

In my writing, I wanted to tell what I saw going on.  I got some of my facts from the two newspapers and the magazine mentioned above, but I tried to make an independent conclusion.  I discussed my thoughts on what was happening, with other people in Dickinson, many of them were long time residents of Dickinson, some had lived and worked in other states.  My goal was to provide useful and truthful information about what living in Dickinson, North Dakota was like.

In some of my recent reading, I found an economic forecaster named William Bonner, who founded a company named Agora Inc.  William Bonner founded Agora Inc. in Baltimore, Maryland in 1978.  His company does economic research and forecasting, and their findings are presented in a newsletter that is provided to 2.4 million paid subscribers.  Supposedly, his newsletter is read by more people than the Wall Street Journal.  His writing is very clear, direct, to-the-point, and unambiguous.

I have a lot of time to read because I am not busy in my two jobs in Dickinson right now.  I need to get a third job because the economy is so slow in Dickinson now.  In reading William Bonner’s forecasts recently, I found something which I believe is very important, that William Bonner is very emphatic about.  He explains in much more detail than I can repeat in this post, that there was very nearly a sudden catastrophic economic collapse in the United States in the past ten years that some very high level people knew about, that 99% of people never knew about.  There is no benefit to William Bonner in explaining it, he just believes that people should know about it, it may be inevitable that it will happen again.

As brief as possible:  All U.S. banks have lent out money in the form of loans, mortgages, and credit cards.  On banking records, individuals and businesses owe billions of dollars to the banks due to loans, mortgages, and credit card debt.  Banks have deposit holders who have placed money in the banks and have bank accounts.  We have all probably been told and have heard, that if all the deposit holders showed up at a bank on the same day and wanted to take all of their money out, they couldn’t, because it is not all there, it has been loaned out.

Before you jump to any conclusions about what I am going to say next, don’t jump to a conclusion yet, because I am not going to talk about a “bank run”, where everybody panics and runs to the bank at the same time to get their money out and it is not all there.  I am going to explain a different type of United States bank failure that nearly happened, that did not involve a “bank run”.

William Bonner writes, I believe that he said it was 2008, that some people, and some large deposit holders, were uneasy, and believed that they needed to get their cash money out of the banks, and they did.  On a particular day, the individual banks, the United States government, and the Federal Reserve realized that there was not enough actual cash on hand in the banks to complete all the pending transactions.  There was not a run on the banks, the banks were not insolvent, there was not a panic, the banks just did not have enough cash on hand to complete all the pending transactions.  99% of people never knew that this happened on a particular date in 2008.  William Bonner said that due to the emergency, the government had to make billions of dollars of cash available to the banks.  ( I don’t know if this was freshly printed money, or if there was cash held in reserve somewhere.)  A few government and Federal Reserve officials have commented and made statements about this incident, a few years after it happened, acknowledging that on a particular day, the United States nearly had a catastrophic banking failure.

What almost happened, was that people who were at the banks presenting any kind of check, business, personal, or government, they would not have been able to cash them.  Deposit checks into accounts, yes, get cash back, no.  ATM machines would have run out of cash within a day.  Many individuals and businesses would have had difficulty conducting transactions.  Once word spread that many people were unable to get cash at the bank or ATMs, panic and looting probably would have occurred.  Once stores and businesses are looted, they do not re-stock or re-open until order is restored.  The United States would have been in chaos.

To be clear about what happened, if most of the individuals and businesses with loans, mortgages, and credit card debt continued to make their monthly payments to the banks, and individuals and businesses continued to make deposits to their accounts in banks, there would have been enough cash money on hand for some individuals and some businesses to take cash out.  There would have been enough cash on hand at the banks to stock the local ATM machines.  However, there was a trend and a suspicion that the banks were not a good place for money at that time, some individuals and some large deposit holders made cash withdrawals to remove all of their money, and there became a cash shortage in the banking system.  There was not enough physical cash on hand in the banking system to continue making normal, day-to-day transactions.

William Bonner explained that there were several reasons why there became such a shortage of physical cash in the banking system.  Across the United States, many individuals were hoarding large amounts of cash at their homes or in safety deposit boxes. Individuals and businesses had moved actual physical cash dollars to locations overseas.  I will add here, that drug cartels in Mexico probably had billions of dollars in actual physical cash, probably so did China.

If there would have been some type of authoritarian referee at every bank in every town, that could have forced some people who were hoarding cash at home to make their business loan payment or mortgage payment in cash not check, and also not allow account holders to withdraw all of their money in cash at that time, there would have been enough cash on hand in the banking system to continue making all the normal day-to-day transactions.  But there is no such referee, the physical cash shortage can happen again, it probably will.

In addition to writing about the low price of oil, and how this affects the economy in North Dakota, I wanted to explain another mechanism that could cause an economic collapse.  It is believed that as the economy in the United States continues to decline for a variety of reasons, as people become more fearful, a trend to remove cash from banks could cause there to be a shortage of cash on hand at banks and cause them to be unable to function.