Oklahoma Economy Put To Reality Check

Thursday, November 13th 2008, 4:55 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley and Scott Thompson, The News On 6

UNDATED -- The stock market continues to play havoc with investors and the number of new jobless claims is at levels not seen since just after 9-11.  The good news is that on a national level, Oklahoma seems to be bucking the trend.    

Economists like to say Oklahoma and Green Country are insulated from the problems with our national economy.  One indication, according to economists, is the number of foreclosed homes. 

A new study shows foreclosed homes in Tulsa County fell by 12% from September to October.

To put that on a national scale, one in every 452 homes across the country is in foreclosure, but in Tulsa County the average is one in every 679 homes, and in Oklahoma it's one in every 1,967 homes.

As for jobs, the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce reports the area is well below the national average of 6% unemployment sitting at 3.8% unemployment and economists believe that number will actually drop.

But, there is a fly in the ointment and it's tied directly to the state's top industry, oil and gas.

More than 30,000 people are directly employed by the industry and tens of thousands of jobs are tied to it.  But the price of oil is down below $60 a barrel, which means less tax money headed to state coffers.

Last year, the state received $1.1 billion in tax revenue from the oil and gas industry.