WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) _ A shift in the labor market has drawn more women seeking permanent work in the oil and gas industry of western North Dakota, according to the state’s workforce agency.

Job Service North Dakota kept tabs on gender ratios in the workforce from January to June this year and found that the number of women seeking jobs in Williston jumped significantly in June, the Williston Herald reported .

Overall, the total number of people walking into the downtown Williston office looking for work increased by 33 percent to 2,264 in June, while the number of women seeking jobs in Williston jumped by 65 percent to 804.

Women made up 36 percent of the total walk-ins who registered at Job Service North Dakota in June.

Job Service officials said more men than women initially came to the Bakken for drilling jobs, but now as the oil boom matures, men who have stayed in Williston for one to two years tend are bringing their families. The oil and gas industry also has sought out additional workers for production _ lease operators, workover employees, pumpers and technical positions.

“This is an industry now,” said Phil Davis, the customer service manager at the Job Service in Bismarck. “It’s not just a boom anymore.”


Information from: Williston Herald, http://www.willistonherald.com