Rural areas in the western United States have experienced enormous social and economic changes due to the development of nearby energy resources. Since the late 1970s, such effects have been quite noticeable in western North Dakota, an area richly endowed in lignite coal and petroleum reserves. This study was undertaken to assess the socioeconomic effects of rapid petroleum development in rural areas. Since the social and economic changes associated with energy resource developments depend in large measure on the nature of the work force, this report analyzes the characteristics of the petroleum industry's work force in North Dakota's Williston Basin.


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