The Bakken Oil Boom

The Bakken oil boom dwarfs previous oil production expansions in Montana and North Dakota. Explore a range of economic, demographic and financial data for the Bakken, and learn about factors driving jobs and other forms of development in the oil patch of North Dakota and Montana.

Location of oil patch in the Ninth District

Employment - 12-month moving average

Data Dashboard

Employment (Thousands)1

Dec 2013 Pct. change from a year earlier
Bakken Oil Counties 101.6 17.7%
Rest of Montana 468.3 0.8%
Rest of North Dakota 300.2 -2.0%

Summary

Employment levels have increased over 70 percent in the Bakken area since 2009. During this time, employment in the rest of North Dakota was relatively flat, while employment in Montana dipped during the recession.



Unemployment rate - 12-month moving average

Data Dashboard

Unemployment Rate1

Dec 2013 Pct. point change from a year earlier
Bakken Oil Counties 1.5% -0.3%
Rest of Montana 5.4% -0.6%
Rest of North Dakota 3.5% 0.0%

Summary

Unemployment rates in North Dakota within and outside the Bakken remained low during the recession and the oil boom. The decrease in unemployment in the Bakken since 2009 has been much sharper than in other areas.

1 12-month moving average



Average weekly wages

4 quarter moving average in 2013 dollars

Data Dashboard

Average Weekly Wages

Second
Quarter
2013
Pct. point change from a year earlier
Bakken Oil Counties $1,263 5.3%
Rest of Montana $714 0.5%
Rest of North Dakota $799 2.6%
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County Unemployment Rate

Slideshow of maps showing the historical county unemployment rate in the Bakken area

Oil map thumbnail

12-month moving average

<3%
3 to 4%
4 to 5%
5 to 6%
6 to 7%
>7%

April 2013
Oil basin unemployment rate map

January 2013
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October 2012
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July 2012
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April 2012
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January 2012
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October 2011
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July 2011
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April 2011
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January 2011
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October 2010
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July 2010
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April 2010
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January 2010
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October 2009
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July 2009
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April 2009
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January 2009
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October 2008
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July 2008
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April 2008
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January 2008
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October 2007
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July 2007
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April 2007
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January 2007
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October 2006
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July 2006
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April 2006
Oil basin unemployment rate map

January 2006
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October 2005
Oil basin unemployment rate map

July 2005
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April 2005
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January 2005
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October 2004
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July 2004
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April 2004
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January 2004
Oil basin unemployment rate map

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County Employment Change

Slideshow of maps showing the county employment rate change in the Bakken area

Oil map thumbnail

12-month moving average

<-4%
-4% to -2%
-2% to 0%
0% to 2%
2% to 4%
>4%

Fourth Quarter 2012
Oil basin employment change map

Third Quarter 2012
Oil basin employment change map

Second Quarter 2012
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First Quarter 2012
Oil basin employment change map

Fourth Quarter 2011
Oil basin employment change map

Third Quarter 2011
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Second Quarter 2011
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First Quarter 2011
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Fourth Quarter 2010
Oil basin employment change map

Third Quarter 2010
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Second Quarter 2010
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First Quarter 2010
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Fourth Quarter 2009
Oil basin employment change map

Third Quarter 2009
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Second Quarter 2009
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First Quarter 2009
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Fourth Quarter 2008
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Third Quarter 2008
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Second Quarter 2008
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First Quarter 2008
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Fourth Quarter 2007
Oil basin employment change map

Third Quarter 2007
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Second Quarter 2007
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First Quarter 2007
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Fourth Quarter 2006
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Third Quarter 2006
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Second Quarter 2006
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First Quarter 2006
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Fourth Quarter 2005
Oil basin employment change map

Third Quarter 2005
Oil basin employment change map

Second Quarter 2005
Oil basin employment change map

First Quarter 2005
Oil basin employment change map

Fourth Quarter 2004
Oil basin employment change map

Third Quarter 2004
Oil basin employment change map

Second Quarter 2004
Oil basin employment change map

First Quarter 2004
Oil basin employment change map

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The Bakken area

Detailed map of the oil patch in the Ninth District

Oil map thumbnail

Definition for oil production: North Dakota production is from Bakken, Sanish, Three Forks and Bakken/Three Forks Pools as reported by the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources. Montana production is total production from Richland, Roosevelt and Sheridan counties.

Definition for economic indicators: North Dakota counties: Billings, Burke, Divide, Dunn, Golden Valley, McKenzie, Mountrail, Stark, and Williams. Montana counties: Richland, Roosevelt, and Sheridan.

Oil map

Recent Trends in the Bakken [pdf]
Full Report [pdf]
Data on demographic, economic and financial activity in the Bakken as of December 20, 2012

More about oil in the Ninth District

Census says: Bakken growth floating a lot of boats
fedgazette Roundup, March 7, 2014

Bakken stands out in comparison with other shale drilling areas
fedgazette, January 15, 2014

Comparing relative banking performance in the Bakken with banking in other shale energy areas
fedgazette, August 19, 2013

Oil production and economic activity strong, but easing somewhat
fedgazette, August 6, 2013

Congratulations on your oil boom...now the real work begins
fedgazette, July 22, 2013

Oil tax spending: "Pots for this and pots for that"
fedgazette, July 22, 2013

Fine-tuning the oil tax machine
fedgazette, July 22, 2013

Dickinson: Watching and learning
fedgazette, July 22, 2013

Bakken activity: How wide is the ripple effect?
fedgazette, May 7, 2013

Working on the railroad - and the pipeline
fedgazette, April 23, 2013

Dealing with gas
fedgazette, April 23, 2013

Booming sales in North Dakota
fedgazette, February 8, 2013

Frac sand mining spurs rural rail
fedgazette Roundup, July 19, 2012

Sand surge
fedgazette, July 16, 2012

Desperately seeking workers in the oil patch
fedgazette, April 18, 2012

No room at the inn
fedgazette, April 18, 2012

Faces and places from the oil patch
fedgazette, April 18, 2012

After the oil rush
fedgazette, September 1, 2009

Location of the Bakken in the Ninth District

Location of oil patch in the Ninth District

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The fiscal oil boom

Video: fedgazette Editor Ron Wirtz talks about the fiscal oil boom


Jobs in the oil patch

Video: fedgazette Senior Writer Phil Davies talks about jobs in the oil patch