Thursday, August 16, 2012

Where the US Jobs Are

This article was previously published on Al Fin blog

In towns and counties across the North American oil patch, there are so many jobs that employers cannot find enough people to fill them. The shortage of employees applies not only to service jobs, but also to government jobs that offer good pay, benefits, and a lifelong pension after 20 years.

In Montana and North Dakota:
Rapid oil and gas development in the “oil patch” of western North Dakota and northeastern Montana has created huge demand for workers—not just in the oilfields, but also in a range of non-oil industries. But so far, the supply of labor—from within and outside the region—has responded slowly to demand. In recent years, job openings have soared and unemployment has dropped to very low levels—below 3 percent in a number of counties. _Desperately Seeking Workers

In Texas:
A freshly graduated petroleum engineer can make $80,000 a year, sometimes with a $10,000 to $20,000 signing bonus tacked on. Roughnecks and truck drivers willing to work killer hours can gross over $100,000 a year. _Chron

In Oklahoma:
Many businesses and government agencies now struggle to find enough workers. Most able-bodied people can double or triple their income in the oil patch.

“If you can walk and breathe out here, you can get a good job,” said LaVern Phillips, president of the Industrial Foundation in Woodward. The county’s unemployment rate hovered around 3 percent in June, 5 percentage points lower than the national average. In some nearby counties, the rate has dipped below 2 percent.

In towns like Woodward, which is home to dozens of oil and gas companies, housing is scarce, hotels are booked solid and vacant jobs are everywhere. _Many Jobs Go Unfilled

Don't get me wrong. There are plenty of Obama administration officials who would like to shut down the oil & gas boom. Many of these spoiled sports work at the US EPA, but some of them work in the White House itself.

But Obama and his anti-private sector activists and energy starvationists have been warned by his re-election strategists that Obama cannot afford to destroy any more private sector jobs -- at least, not until after the election. After the election, they are willing to allow Obama to do his worst.

Just in case Obama is defeated in November, real estate developers across the oil patch are making plans to build thousands of units of rental properties, to take advantage of the swollen populations of oil workers -- and consequent housing shortages -- across the oil boom towns and counties.

The US oil & gas boom has the potential to add almost 4 million new jobs to the US economy, both directly and via add-on stimulatory effects to local economies.

Imagine the state of the US economy, had Obama not gone all-out to shut down offshore oil drilling, coal mining and coal power plants, nuclear power plants, energy production on public lands, and a number of other industries which would have been key to re-building a healthy economy? Instead, Obama drove the US deeper into debt by the $trillions, to pay off crony supporters across the board from unions to trial lawyers to green ripoff lobbies and corporations.

Most people who will vote for Obama, are doing so due to dependency on government payoffs of one type or another. Certainly far more are dependent on government checks now, than when Obama first campaigned for the presidency. Imagine how many people would be dependent on the government after a second Obama term?

It is almost as if Obama is creating a nation of crack ho's, dependent upon a steady supply of government crack.

Without Obama, in 2013 the US economy would have a chance to rapidly re-build, on a more solid basis than an addiction to government handouts and corruption.

Of course, after Obama, the US government debt is so high that even very slight rises in interest rates could put catastrophic stresses on the US federal budget. And once interest rates do inevitably go up, the rate of growth of the federal debt will make it difficult for even a booming economy to pay it down.

But then, with more of Obama, the end result will necessarily be default. And you don't want to know what that would do to the world economy.

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