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Boom or bust: North Dakota sees dip in drilling, rise in 'soaring' homelessness

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The oil boom in North Dakota looks like it might slow a bit due to cold weather this spring, says the state's top regulator.

The Associated Press reports out of Bismarck that Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms says in a statement that oil operators couldn't "catch a break," adding that April was the coldest and May the wettest on record.

So, brace yourselves for those May results, would-be barons. They're due any day. April still saw a record 793,000 barrels a day.

Meanwhile, the AP also reports out of Bismarck another trend: A rise in homelessness in the state.

One advocate for homeless people says desperate job seekers are flocking to the oil-rich state to try and land one of the thousands of unfilled jobs, says the AP.

Volunteers counted a record 2,069 homeless people during a survey on Jan. 23. The survey found that the number of "unsheltered" homeless people was 1,395, far exceeding capacity for the state's homeless shelters.

The same day, by comparison, South Dakota counted 537 homeless people, or about one-quarter of North Dakota's tally.

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