By now the refrain has become all too familiar - plenty of jobs, nowhere to live.
Occupation-rich and housing-poor, northwest North Dakota has become the Land of Opportunity for a chosen few.
Still, many would likely find it startling were they to realize just how much money some people are making during the oil boom, especially in the Williston area.
Job Service North Dakota recently released annual employment and wage statistics that show that some occupations, especially in the oil patch, can be extremely lucrative.
For years, industry insiders have known that petroleum engineers would be both in high demand and well compensated.
Statistics definitely reinforce that, as the average hourly wage for those occupations in the oil-intensive "far west" portion of the state is listed at more than $103 per hour - a healthy $215,000 per year.
Actually, most jobs with the word "engineer" in the title pay pretty well, with those averages (excluding petroleum engineers) ranging from $71,000 to $86,000 per year statewide.
The average weekly wage in the Williston area has ballooned to nearly $1,400, according to Job Service statistics at (ndworkforceintelligence.com).
Shawn Wenko, deputy director of Williston Economic Development, said Williams County created more than 12,000 jobs from January 2010 to September 2011.
"That number doesn't surprise me," Wenko told the economic development's public service news magazine, the Williston Wire. "If we could have brought housing online faster it would probably be even more. The fourth quarter of 2011 will be faster."
Coming in second in job creation was Cass County with about 7,500 new jobs followed by Stark County with just over 4,000 during that same time period.
Williams County also led the state in personal income increases, with the aforementioned $1,400 per week in Williams County totaling just under $71,000 a year.
"That's higher than any other city in the state," said Wenko.
The job numbers are impressive in both quantity and quality - more than 25,000 new jobs are available statewide compared to only a year ago. More than 4,000 new jobs became available between January 2012 and February 2012, according to Job Service.
All of these factors play into both Minot and Williston becoming Top 10 micropolitan growth areas in the U.S., with Williston garnering the top spot and Minot coming in eighth. In addition, the Dickinson area is fourth in the same category.