The problem in rural West Texas is too many jobs and not enough workers. The oil boom in the Permian Basin has dropped unemployment rates, according to the Austin American-Statesman’s Laylan Copelin . One oilfield worker told the paper that one recent 18-hour day netted him $10,800 in pay.
The oil fields have always been boom and bust territory. Now they’re booming. “The region, for now, remains as bright as derrick lights in a dimming global economy,” Copelin writes. “It boasts the nation’s lowest unemployment rate and an expanding economy.”
People are moving in, from small towns in Kansas to Midland, Texas. From Dallas to the small town of Monahans. The trouble is, there are few places to live. Rents have gone up 40% in the last few years. And restaurants are closing because they can’t find help.