Tag Archives: work slow down in Dickinson North Dakota

Starting Over Writing About Dickinson, North Dakota

Dickinson, North Dakota has changed so much over the past 12 months, that I need to start over, and begin again in describing Dickinson, North Dakota.

The economy, business, business practices, real estate, construction, construction companies, oil field, oil field companies, employment, jobs, crime, people’s attitudes, and people’s behavior have changed so much, that I have to completely start over in describing what Dickinson, North Dakota is like now.

For my own personal reference and orientation, in thinking about Dickinson, and describing Dickinson, I will have to be clear, that there is a big difference between what Dickinson was like 2007 through 2016, and what Dickinson had changed into by the end of 2017.

The price of oil fell drastically in 2015, causing the oil boom in North Dakota to begin slowing down.  There were changes that occurred in western North Dakota as the number of operating oil drill rigs declined.  The oil field work slowed down, which in turn caused there to be a slow down in the rest of the economy in western North Dakota.  Many workers from out of state returned home to the states where they came from.

When the oil boom slowed down in 2015, Dickinson became calmer and quieter.  There became less people in Dickinson, and less traffic.  Some oil field businesses closed, other businesses closed, and some residents moved out of state.

However, the character, mood, attitudes, and mentality in Dickinson remained the same as what it had been during the last years of the oil boom, up until 2017.

I believe that 2017 is a clear cut-off point, to where everything changed in Dickinson.  I believe that all through the beginning of 2017, virtually everyone in Dickinson realized that the oil boom was over, whether they said it out loud or not.  Throughout Dickinson, everyone considered how the oil boom being over, would affect them.  By the end of 2017, everyone’s outlook, attitude, mentality, and behavior changed.

To me, who had been living in Dickinson since 2011, there came a point in late 2017, that it seemed like everyone in Dickinson had changed over night. It was like the people in Dickinson had changed in unison.

In writing this blog post, and in discussing it, I see that the origin of this change was the sharp decline in the price of oil, the slow down in the oil field, the decline in business and the number of out of state workers, the continuation of the slow down, and the gradual realization by the people in Dickinson that the oil boom was over, and that it was not coming back.  However, the outlook, attitude, mentality, and behavior of people in Dickinson seemed to change all of a sudden, in late 2017.

The people in Dickinson became less friendly.  That is right, the people in Dickinson became even less friendly.  For the past three years, I have described the people in Dickinson as being unfriendly, but now, they have become distinctly even more unfriendly.

There is becoming a greater distinction and division between the people who are from Dickinson, and the people who are not from Dickinson.  During the oil boom that occurred in Dickinson from 2007 through 2014, the people from Dickinson did not like the out of state workers.  Now that the oil boom is over, the people from Dickinson dislike people from out of state even more.

Working in Dickinson from 2011 through 2014, my co-workers from Dickinson were sometimes hostile, unfriendly, uncooperative, not helpful, resentful, and undermining.  Beginning in 2015, I could see that the people from Dickinson, were becoming even more hostile, unfriendly, uncooperative, resentful, and undermining with their co-workers, both with local and out of state workers, but much more so with out of state workers.

What is happening is this:  The local people from Dickinson are making less money, working less hours, and working less overtime.  The local people from Dickinson have lost their jobs, and have had difficulty in getting jobs.  The local people in Dickinson, they want to be able to afford to pay for the things that they have, not lose their car or their house, and be able to live.  The local people in Dickinson, believe that they should have more of a right to work and earn a living, than workers from out of state.

Many or most of the local people in Dickinson, did not like people from out of state coming to Dickinson to work during the oil boom.  The local people were hostile and unfriendly to the people who were from out of state, during the oil boom.  Now, with local people making less money, having lost their job, and not being able to get a job, their dislike for people who are from out of state, is much greater.

With work having slowed down in Dickinson, many out of state workers having moved away, traffic being lower, businesses being slower, things being quieter and calmer, there are a few other ways that Dickinson had changed distinctly by 2017.

Apartment rent and house rent have decreased greatly.  The new apartments that were built during the oil boom, are now much more affordable.  The older apartments and older homes, the rent on these are now very low.

The house prices in Dickinson have come down some, but not as much as they should have, considering that the oil boom is over.  There are several reasons why the house prices remain high, higher than they should be:  Real estate agents and property owners are deliberately trying to keep house prices high through their own efforts;  some home owners do not understand and will not face reality;  some home owners mistakenly think that the oil boom will return any minute now;  some people are just so hung up with what they paid for their home during the oil boom, that they will not price it for what the market is now;  some people paid so much for their home during the oil boom that they owe much more than their home is worth now.

I will mention one more way that Dickinson had changed significantly by 2017.  There was an increase in property theft in Dickinson in 2016 and 2017.  In reading the Dickinson Press newspaper “Crime And Courts” and the “Police Blotter” over the past several years, I noticed that there were more and more thefts from businesses, homes, garages, and automobiles.  In 2016, the amount property theft appeared to be distinctly greater than in previous years.  Now in 2017, property theft seems to be a permanent, daily, ongoing thing in Dickinson.  Dickinson is now a high theft area.

Dire Warning About Living And Working In Dickinson, North Dakota

I have been looking at the job posting websites North Dakota Job Services, Indeed, Careerbuilder, Monster, Rigzone, and LinkedIn almost every day in April and May.  There are very few jobs listed for Dickinson, Watford City, and Williston.  April and May are the busiest hiring months in Western North Dakota.

There are usually several job listings for registered nurses, CDL drivers with at least two years experience, and mechanic field service technicians.  About every other week there is a listing for a journeyman electrician, or a heavy equipment operator.

I would estimate that there are 30% to 40% fewer job listings for Dickinson in April and May of 2017, than there were in April and May of 2016.

I would estimate that there are 60% fewer job listings for Dickinson in April and May of 2017, than there were in April and May of 2015.

I want to warn everyone in Dickinson what I think is going to happen.  The construction workers, electricians, equipment operators, mechanics, oil field service workers, plumbers, truck drivers, and welders that are currently employed in Dickinson, will keep their jobs through December of 2017.  Then there will be a winter work slow down like there always is, with reduced work hours and lay offs.  However, I believe that at least 20% of these workers will not have a job to return to in Dickinson in the spring of 2018.  There will not be enough work in Dickinson.

Any of the workers in these trades can go look at every job posting website that they can find, and they will see that there are very few job listings for these trades in Dickinson, Watford City, and Williston.  They have got to realize that there is not a high demand right now, in the busiest hiring months, and that there has been a steady decline in demand for these trades in Dickinson since 2014.

Everyone in Dickinson needs to know what is happening now, so that they can figure out what they are going to do.  Retail workers, restaurant workers, sales people, service workers, and professional workers need to realize that there will be a decline in demand for workers in their professions in Dickinson.

I recommend that everyone in Dickinson try to save money now and conserve money now through the remainder of 2017, with the expectation that at least 1 out of 5 people will lose their job in Dickinson in 2018.

I recommend that even if you have a job now in Dickinson, that you begin thinking about, and doing research about where else you might try to live.  Talk to friends and relatives who live elsewhere about what things are like where they live.  Get information from people you know, but don’t just take their word for it, look on the internet at what jobs are available in different areas.

In doing research about different areas and what jobs are available, I caution readers that though it may look like Dallas has more job openings than Williston, you must realize that Dallas has a population of 1 million people, and Williston has a population of about 20,000 people.  There might be several hundred applicants for a job in Dallas, whereas there might be forty applicants for a job in Williston.

I wrote a couple of blog posts on this website about “How To Go To Work Out Of State” about eight months ago.  In those blog posts, I suggested that if your family has a home, friends, and relatives here, it may be a better idea for the primary income earner to go to work out of state, and let the family stay behind.

It is easier and safer for the father to go to work out of state by himself, and let the family stay behind.  It is much easier for one adult to get very cheap housing, housing that would not be safe or appropriate for a family.  When going to work out of state, you don’t know what your employer, co-workers, and work conditions will be like, and you may not be able to stay in your new job.  You may have to re-locate again unexpectedly, and it is much easier to do this if you are by yourself.

Answering A Reader’s Questions About Employment And Catholics In Dickinson, North Dakota

A reader who lives in Dickinson, has left a couple of comments to my blog posts, and she disagrees with most of what I write about Dickinson.  This does not surprise me at all.

To summarize the indicators that the oil boom is over in Dickinson, that there is a work slow down, and that employment is way down:

  1. The busiest time for hiring in Dickinson, is March, April, and May, just before the spring, summer, and fall work season.  From Friday April 14 through the end of the day on Friday April 21, there were a total of seven new jobs posted for Dickinson on the North Dakota Job Service website.  Seven new jobs!  In 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, there would have been a total of about thirty to forty new jobs posted for Dickinson on the North Dakota Job Service website during a one week period in April.  (Note:  North Dakota Job Service receives job notices from employers, and places job announcements, but, they also go and search several other job posting services and import those job advertisements into their system, to include these job announcements as well.)
  2. For the period from April 1 through the end of the day on April 21, there were only five new job listings posted for Dickinson on the website CareerBuilder.  Five new job listings, for the entire month!  In April, the busiest hiring month in Dickinson!  In 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, there would have been about thirty to forty new job listings posted on the CareerBuilder website for Dickinson during the first three weeks of April.
  3. Today, I looked on the international oil industry website Rigzone.  On Rigzone, there were twenty-three job listings for Williston, six for Dickinson, and three for Killdeer.  A total of thirty-two job listings on Rigzone for all of North Dakota.  In 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, there were usually sixty to eighty jobs listings on Rigzone for North Dakota in April.
  4. The job posting websites Indeed.com and Monster.com have much fewer job listings for Dickinson than they did in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014.
  5. In Dickinson, during the months of March, April, and May, in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, the underground utility locating company ELM would have to place repeating job advertisements every other week in order to hire and train enough underground utility locators to respond to all the construction locate requests.  This year, in March and April, I have not seen one job advertisement from ELM locating.
  6. In Dickinson, during the months of March, April, and May, in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, all the oil field service companies would place job advertisements, companies like Timberline/Liberty, Weatherford, Steier, Bob’s, Key, Titan, SM, Champ, K&R.  So far this year in March and April, I saw one job advertisement from Steier, and no job advertisements from these other oil field service companies.
  7. The three Family Fare grocery stores and WalMart in Dickinson, went from staying open 24 hours per day, to closing at night in 2015, because they no longer had enough business to stay open 24 hours per day.
  8. At the Theodore Roosevelt Airport in Dickinson, they went from having two airlines, United and Delta, each making two flights per day out of Dickinson, down to one airline, with currently only about twenty-five passengers per day out of Dickinson.  The one remaining airline, United, tried to cease operations in Dickinson in approximately 2016, but they were forced to stay by the Federal government enforcing an “essential air services” regulation.
  9. The newly completed hotels in Dickinson, went from sometimes having no vacancies in 2010 and 2011 at $180 per night, to where they now have 80% vacancy at $60 per night.


To explain what the Catholics have done in Dickinson:

  1. The homesteaders that settled Dickinson in the late 1800s, they were German and Ukranian Catholics.  The Catholic Church was the main cultural and societal influence in Dickinson, from the beginning.  The Catholic Church did not teach, encourage, or foster, the teachings of Jesus Christ, such as “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you”, “So as you do to the least of my people, so do you unto me”, and “What profiteth a man that he gain the whole world, let lose his soul?  And, what shall he give in exchange for his soul”.  Instead, the Catholic Church taught hatred, hostility, unfriendliness, and it fostered jealousy and greed.
  2. In order to maintain its control, and in order to help its henchmen maintain control over people, the Catholic Church in Dickinson discouraged higher education, and tried to make the people in Dickinson fear and mistrust higher education.  The Catholic Church did not want people to read the Bible for themselves, interpret, and understand the Bible for themselves, lest they find out that what the Catholics were doing was evil.  With a lack of education, people in Dickinson could not get ahead, learn about other places, learn about new things, and they would continue to be trapped in Dickinson, unable and not knowing how to escape.
  3. The Catholic Church encouraged and fostered the people here to be hateful, unfriendly, uncooperative, jealous, and greedy.  When a neighbor was having difficulty, this was not taught as a time to help him, this was taught as a time to withhold help.  A neighbor failing, dying, or moving away, was the opportunity to seize his land and his possessions.
  4. Only with the one hundred years of teaching and fostering hatred and greed by the Catholic Church, would prepare these evil Catholics in Dickinson to begin raising rent and housing prices by 400% to 500%.  All Christians are supposed to help their fellow man, and do unto others as you would have them to do unto you, but in Dickinson they had been taught nothing but evil!
  5. The Catholics, the Catholic Church, and the Catholic associations in Dickinson, made plans to not allow the great abundance of vacant land in Dickinson, to be used for affordable housing, or housing for the homeless.
  6. The Catholics collude in every way possible, how to take advantage of the out of state workers.
  7. The Catholics collude in every way possible, how to manipulate, connive, and scheme to advance themselves, and hinder, undermine, and impede others.

What this local native from Dickinson wrote in her comment to my blog post, was that it was inaccurate for me to cite the few job postings on North Dakota Job Service and CareerBuilder, because the local employers weren’t posting their jobs there.

Yes!  Yes!  I have seen this before in Dickinson, North Dakota!  For employment with the City of Dickinson Police Department, and Dickinson State University, they don’t post their job opening in the local newspaper, North Dakota Job Service, CareerBuilder, Monster.com, or Indeed.com, they post it where no one can find it, except for the people that they personally tell!

Sometimes, the people who work at City offices, County offices, or State offices in Dickinson, they don’t want to post a job opening where people can see it, they don’t want to have a bunch of highly qualified applicants.  They want to tell their fellow Catholics, their brother, their uncle, their nephew, where they have hidden the job posting, so that no one else can find it and apply.  They don’t want people with relevant job experience and relevant education applying, they want their inexperienced and uneducated relative to get the job!

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.

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.