Will the New Year bring new prosperity? After September 11th, the 2001 economy ended with a thud. And now many are looking to 2002 for a fresh start.
News on 6 reporter Steve Berg says you can't really say the economic picture is rosy. But it might not be as bleak as some may think either. There are stores, like the Super Target, that are adding lots of new jobs in 2002. At the Super Target job fair, they had more than 100 people line up to apply for jobs, in the first hour alone. Chad Rings with Target, "Some people are in dire need of a job, a lot of layoffs in the community, we've seen a lot of grocery stores close in the community recently, and our grocery business is opening, so a lot of people who are very interested in that."
Folks like Cheryl Burch, who moved here from California, and says she's had trouble finding work. "A lot of testing, a lot of, they're doing all kinds of different things, it's been really hard, doing cashier an airport has just closed down, or something or laid off. So it's been a very difficult thing for me."
Oklahoma unemployment jumped sharply after September 11th. But the good news is that it's leveled off since then. Despite layoffs, Oklahoma actually gained 12,000 jobs since the recession. Much of that due to the service sector, jobs like Target. But also other jobs you might not expect. Mickey Thompson with the Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce, "That's a bigger area than most of think of when we think of the service sector. That includes American Airlines and maybe Williams Communications and WorldCom and companies like that are service-oriented jobs, but they're very high-paying service jobs.â€
When you take 2001 as a whole, most economic indicators are actually better than 2000. We've weathered the storm up to this point. The question is how much longer can we?