May 5, 2020

In spite of low oil prices, job losses could be temporary

In spite of low oil prices, job losses could be temporary

By Ashleigh Plemper
Farmer Staff Writer

As the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) surged its way into North Dakota in late February, it was merely just the beginning of an economic low point as oil prices cratered to a catastrophic low toward the end of April. The trivial concerns of lifestyle adjustments due to quarantining from COVID-19 soon took a backseat as oil field workers began losing their jobs, leaving those that have remained employed on the edge of their seats wondering who will be next.
As hundreds of oilfield jobs in the county have quickly evaporated in the past six weeks, Stenberg says he expects the job loss will be temporary.
“If one looks at the economic history here in McKenzie County or even at the national level, the one thing that is constant is that there are always ups and downs,” says Daniel Stenberg, McKenzie County Job Development Authority director.
As much is still up in the air, Stenberg looks forward to the day when McKenzie County has moved past the economic hardship, so the community can come back out on top like it always does.
“I see us as a dynamic community,” says Stenberg. “While we certainly have challenges in our economy right now with the pandemic and low petroleum prices, I think we’ve got a community that already knows how to adapt to changing market conditions and come out better on the other end.”

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