The BLS data for Williston continue to tell an unfortunate story of the rapid rise in employment and, for the most part, an equally dramatic reversal. One of the most frequent questions asked about this is whether there will be a reversal of the latest trend when (if?) oil prices recover. I think the jury is out on that front.
The Census Bureau releases updated data (2015 data) on poverty tomorrow so it seems prudent to review the data for North Dakota now. Poverty is an important topic, and intimately connected to the debate over income and wealth inequality that are all the rage right now. The situation in North Dakota is somewhat interesting, and how we talk about poverty is important. This discussion refers to table S1701 reporting the 5-year ACS estimates.
There are numerous debates about the relative importance of industries in the Dakotas, as there should be. The constant re-examination of the relative position of industries means people are paying attention. In the last several years the main focus of the debate was the relative supremacy of agriculture versus oil. That debate is on the back burner for now, somewhat, with most commodities in something of a down cycle.