3 Cities to Watch
Source: U. S. Department of Labor
Neil Pierson is editor of Scotsman Guide Commercial Edition.
Reach him at (800) 297-6061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The state’s unemployment rate remained steady at 4. 3 percent
throughout this past March, April and May, data from the Oklahoma
Employment Security Commission shows. It bumped up slightly, to
4. 5 percent, this past August. The agency also stated that 55 of 77 counties had lower year-over-year unemployment rates this past February,
with some counties in the state’s western panhandle reporting rates as
low as 2.4 percent.
Several industries — including aerospace, technology and retail — have
provided a boost to workforce-development efforts, state commerce
figures show. Aerospace giant Boeing, which has a presence at all three
of the state’s Air Force bases, employs more than 2,500 people statewide.
Dell Technologies employs more than 1,000 in Oklahoma City. Macy’s has
a fulfillment center north of Tulsa that provides about 3,500 jobs.
The Sooner State serves as headquarters to five Fortune 500 companies
that are leaders in energy production and services: ONEOK, Devon Energy,
NGL Energy Partners, Chesapeake Energy and Williams. According to the
U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Oklahoma has 14 of the
nation’s 100 largest natural gas fields and is the fifth-largest shale gas-producing state. About half of the state’s natural gas delivered to consumers is used for electric-power generation.
The state usually accounts for 3 percent to 5 percent of the nation’s yearly
crude-oil production. There also are significant renewable energy resources within Oklahoma as the state gets a big boost from wind energy,
hydroelectric dams and biomass, or fuel developed from organic materials. The energy industry represents the state’s largest employer, with more
than 190,000 jobs tied to it, and another 31,000 jobs were expected to be
added during 2017, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce forecasts.
The state’s second-largest city, with about 403,000 residents as of July
2016, Tulsa ranks among the nation’s top 100 places for business and
careers, according to Forbes. Located on the Arkansas River, the city
has diversified in recent years, becoming less reliant on the oil industry.
Its largest employers include American Airlines, Hillcrest Healthcare
System and the University of Tulsa. The metro area is approaching
1 million residents. The area has relatively low costs of living and a
median home price of $148,200 as of this past October, Forbes reported.
With a population of 122,000, Norman is Oklahoma’s third-largest city.
The University of Oklahoma is far and away its largest employer, providing nearly 13,000 jobs. Norman Regional Hospital, Johnson Controls
and Hitachi rank among the city’s top 10 employers with a combined
4,500 employees. The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission
(OESC) rates Norman as the state’s best city based on cost of living.
Housing costs are about 30 percent less than the national average, the
OESC said. Sports, arts and culture, wineries and historical sites all contribute to the social fabric of the area.
Located to the southeast of Tulsa, it is the state’s fourth-largest city,
with 107,000 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Founded in
1902, many of the city’s original residents were Native Americans from
the Broken Arrow Creek tribe’s previous home in Alabama. Northeastern State University, industrial manufacturer Zeeco and data-processor
Micah Tek are among the city’s top employers, according to the Broken
Arrow Chamber of Commerce.
Sources: Arcadia Round Barn, Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce, CBRE, Forbes,
History.com, KOKH Fox 25 News, Norman Economic Development Coalition, Oklahoma
City National Memorial & Museum, Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Oklahoma
Employment Security Commission, Oklahoma Historical Society, The Oklahoman,
Price Edwards & Co., Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce, U. S. Department of
Commerce, USA Today, U.S. Census Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor, U. S. Energy
Information Administration, U. S. News and World Report, Visit Norman.