Total employment more than doubled to 131,000 in the Bakken counties we analyzed, but that was still far below employment in larger, more established fields such as the Permian Basin in Texas or the sprawling Marcellus in Pennsylvania. Wages also posted the biggest gains in the Bakken; for all private sector workers, wages jumped 81 percent, to $1,055. For those working in the natural resources sector, wages more than doubled to $1,467 a week.
Now, as a crash in oil prices has many oil producers cutting back on new drilling, many boomtown counties face the prospect of a painful oil bust. That said, many of the production gains in those counties have come from improved methods and technologies that generate more output per worker.
Most other regions, though, saw more modest increases in jobs and wages and therefore face less risk of an oil economy hangover.