Carpe Diem

Chart of the day: Building permits in Midland, Texas surge to a record high in March, thanks to the shale oil boom

midlandThe economy of Midland, Texas is prospering, thanks to the shale oil boom taking place near there. In March, it had the lowest metro area jobless rate in the country at 3.1%.

Further, as I reported recently on CD:

1. The city of Midland in the Permian basin was the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the country during the most recent year (July 2011 to July 2012), posting a 4.6% gain to 151,662 people (see report from the Census Bureau). Soaring demand for energy workers there has driven up wages, and not just for jobs in the oil and gas fields. “You can make $15 an hour washing dishes at Wendy’s,” said Karl Gulick, a Midland banker. “If you can pass a drug test and get a commercial driver’s license, you can get $80,000 in one phone call.”

2. Boomtown anecdotes among Midland locals are as common as one-liners in a stand-up routine: The granddaughter who can’t get married in town because there aren’t available hotel rooms for guests; teenagers who earn $75,000 driving trucks the day they graduate from high school; the Cracker Barrel that couldn’t open until three months after the building was finished because of a lack of workers.

3. On Big Spring Street in Midland, there are few fast-food restaurants or local banks without a “Now Hiring” sign, and a one-night stay at the Fairfield Inn in Midland costs $300.

Now there’s more evidence of the huge impact of shale oil on the Midland economy: There’s an eye-popping construction boom taking place, and building permits issued in March this year – at 347 – reached an all-time record high and were 580% above last year’s level of 51 (see chart above).

Drill, drill, drill = jobs, jobs, jobs, = permits, permits, permits = more jobs, jobs, jobs.

2 thoughts on “Chart of the day: Building permits in Midland, Texas surge to a record high in March, thanks to the shale oil boom

  1. Too bad the producers can’t make a profit while everyone else does. And lumber futures must be booming due to the great recovery in the US economy.

  2. JUst a back to the future moment for midland. Recall the last boom of the early 1980s stories were the same, Midland had a Rolls Royce dealer that was one of the sales leaders in the country back then. By the mid 1990s the place was such that rush hour no longer existed.

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