Posted: Feb 16, 2012 5:13 PM by Katy Harris (KAJ News)
Updated: Feb 16, 2012 10:15 PM
The economy is recovering slowly and many Flathead Valley residents are turning to the North Dakota oil fields to find work and pay their bills.
A representative from Montana West Economic Development says that there is a trend of young adults leaving the Flathead Valley and moving over to North Dakota for work.
This can somewhat harm our economy by leaving unpaid rent and less money filtering into restaurants and shops. But there is also a trend of a people leaving their families here and going to work in North Dakota.
Client Development and Resources for Montana manager Kim Morisaki says this can actually be very beneficial because their paychecks are coming back here to make their house payments and support their families.
"You're typical family, the majority of their paycheck comes back to the Flathead, they make their house payment or pay their rent. They buy groceries, they put tennis shoes on their kids feet, they go to the movies, they go out to dinner, they put gas in their tanks. A lot of the families that I know if it's a husband going for two or three weeks the wife actually buys all the groceries he needs here. Maybe cooks stuff for him, packs him up and sends him over so yeah it's got a major ripple effect on our economy."
Morisaki says she knows that several Flathead Valley construction businesses have picked up good paying contracts in North Dakota to build houses because of the high demand.