Will 2023 bring a recession? North Dakotans weigh in

Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 7:50 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Murmurs of a recession have been spreading. By definition, a recession is two straight quarters of a decline in Gross Domestic Product. It’s usually accompanied by layoffs and a high percentage of unemployment.

In 2007, when the last recession hit the U.S., North Dakota was insulated by the booming oil field and all the other jobs that the boom created. People came from all over the country to take advantage of the job market.

”By that time, there were no jobs in Arkansas and basically the only thing where anybody could make any money was in the North Dakota oil field,” said Tim Oldham, who now lives in Ray.

While we aren’t experiencing the same surge in oil field work, one financial advisor thinks North Dakota might experience the same protection because of the continued demand for workers.

”There are a lot of jobs you could go into — some of these places... I just saw Mcdonald’s in Fargo this weekend starting at $17 an hour and a hiring bonus. I mean, that’s unheard of,” said David Wald, president of Securian Financial.

Oldham moved to North Dakota in 2014 and soon discovered he could make more money in the food industry. So, he started a food truck, which serves up real southern BBQ, but with a flair of the north. He says the pandemic, on top of medical issues, caused them to shut down, but nonetheless, they’re happy with their decision.

”Oh, absolutely. I have zero regrets moving to North Dakota,” said Oldham.

Oldham currently runs TNT Tire in Ray and says as a small business owner, a recession is always a concern.

”I think the main thing that’s been going on is the cost of everything. Groceries, auto parts, tires, everything. Everything has dramatically gone up, so I definitely feel, yes, everybody is concerned about a recession,” said Oldham.

Wald agrees and says if a recession does happen, it might feel different from the one in 2007. He says consumers could feel this one more with inflation and prices staying high at the gas pump and in the grocery stores.

Oldham is excited to share that his food truck, T&T BBQ, will reopen on Monday, January 23.