The pressure is on for Western ND job seekers

The pressure is on for Western ND job seekers
The pressure is on for Western ND job seekers(KFYR)
Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 6:28 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Western North Dakota’s largest increase in available job positions is in the oil and gas sector, according to Job Service North Dakota’s latest numbers.

The agency says those figures could continue increasing, which would be good news because the number of laid-off job-seekers is high, and extra unemployment benefits will soon expire.

Amidst a busy construction season, companies are finding a new normal during the coronavirus pandemic.

Job Service of ND says with oil prices increasing, more jobs are trickling into the market and laid-off employees in Williams County are getting more aggressive in their job-seeking.

Job Service ND Williston Workforce Center Manager Paula Hickel said, “Our numbers of people registered in our system are higher than this time last year, but not as high as kind of matching our unemployment claimants. So, some of those folks oil and gas related have gone back to the states from which they came, and they may be searching in those states instead of here until that job-market comes back here.”

Paula Hickel says she hopes more oil and gas positions will open up before July 25th, when the extra $600 a week unemployment payments from the federal government expire. She says at that point, some people might have to settle for a lower paying job.

Former Williston Oilfield Worker Jesse Ramos said, “I was already behind when I received my first few payments, so it will definitely have a big impact on my financial situation. I’m looking for a job that I’ll be able to pay my lump-sum of bills every month. I came here for the job market. It was better than most states, and now I don’t know.”

Hickel says It is possible that the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefits could be extended.

CDL Drivers, Installation, Maintenance, and Repair, and Construction are the job sectors in need of the most workers right now, but Job Service says those divisions still have 50-75% less positions available than the same time last year.

Copyright 2020 KFYR. All rights reserved.

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