Oklahoma: Portrait of an Enterprising State
In the coming months, the National Chamber Foundation will be touring the country highlighting the "Enterprising States" that are the incubators of America's economy recovery. Today finds NCF in Oklahoma, where we are joining forces with the State Chamber of Oklahoma and Governor Mary Fallin (among other luminaries) to highlight what makes this state thrive. And thrive it has, with GDP growth of over 3.6% and unemployment sitting at 6.1%. Our Enterprising States study finds that the secret to Oklahoma's growth is three-fold:
- It built upon its strengths in energy and aerospace.
- It diversified its economy into new manufacturing, science, and technology industries.
- It purposely improved upon an already positive climate for doing business.
Clearly, Oklahoma has performed well on any measure. As The Oklahoman reported today, "The state was among the top 10 in rankings of cost of living; gross state product growth; productivity growth; per capita income growth; higher education efficiency and college affordability." The greatest economic growth for the state has occurred in its oil and mining industries.
Among the areas to keep watch on, according to the study's authors at the Praxis Strategy Group, are Oklahoma's over-reliance on the economic activity generated by the military and other government expenditures. For Oklahoma, the task now will be to keep this tremendous growth going regardless of the fortunes of the energy industry or the public sector. Encouraging a diversity of industry is one answer to that need, paired with a workforce that is skilled and ready to assume the range of jobs to follow.
P.S. Stay tuned to our website for the release of the Enterprising States report on Oklahoma following today's event!