The following CNN news video is about a town with an interesting social problem. Williston, North Dakota actually has plenty of jobs for local residents. The problem is housing all the town’s workers. This video was uploaded to CNN on June 25, 2012. Dan Lothian is the reporter on this story.
The reason for jobs in Williston is oil. Where oil comes, workers are needed. Mayor Ward Koeser says unemployment is only at 1 percent. There are some 3,000 jobs available in this very small town.
Fracking is the breaking up of underground rocks for oil drilling. This has become a controversy lately, but it is fueling job growth in places like Williston.
The average salary in Williston has skyrocketed to over $70,000. However, local home developers are trying to take advantage of this by selling homes at some $200,000, which is way overpriced for the value of a home in a typical small town. Of course, CNN conveniently fails to mention this.
Finally, CNN mentions that rent has skyrocketed to an unbelievable $2000 or so, making it near impossible to get 52 new teachers. This has forced the local school to buy its own apartment building so they can charge the modest and appropriate $400 per month for these non-luxury apartments.
If the oil dries up, this town is screwed. The mayor doesn’t mention a single housing solution to the problems. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he does not have ideas. It’s just that they weren’t discussed in this video.