A good problem to have
Prosperity not only brings benefits, but also challenges. That’s become apparent in the oil boom towns of North Dakota.
The Associated Press reports that Williston, N.D., has seen its population double in the past decade, and the average annual wage has surged from $32,000 to $80,000. Because of that rapid growth, housing is in short supply and the cost of buying or renting is increasing as well. That’s especially challenging for those not directly involved in the oil industry, such as teachers who have starting salaries of $31,500. The town’s school is expected to see student growth of 46 percent this year alone.
So far, though, it appears those challenges aren’t deterring teacher applicants. And the problems of rapid population and wage growth are preferable to dealing with struggling local economies and low wages. We suspect many small communities in Oklahoma would gladly trade places with Williston.
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