Survey Reveals Importance of Telecommunications in Tulsa Economy

Thursday, July 29th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Information services and telecommunications nationwide earned an estimated $368.1 billion in 1998, and analysts expect revenues to grow at an annual rate of 10 per cent for the foreseeable future.

Tulsa's transition to the information age has been facilitated by the area's state-of-the-art electronic infrastructure and favorable business climate. A digital, fiber-optic linked telephone network, together with a strong labor force and low cost of living, have proven to be seductive lures for telemarketing services, data processing centers, information retrieval services and other concerns that require cutting-edge capabilities.

With the help of students from Oral Roberts University, the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce has completed a survey that underscores the growing importance of telecommunications in the local economy. Sixty-five companies representing a wide range of information services were contacted. They employ a total of 22,298 people and offer average annual salaries excluding benefits, ranging from $14,000 to $43,500. The average annual salary - $30,728 - is well above Tulsa's average of $28,319.

The bottom line is a payroll in excess of $685 million, and it should go higher in the near future. Companies that participated in the survey report that approximately 2,150 positions remained unfilled.

"Clearly, telecommunications and information technology have a major impact on our economy," concluded Mike Davidsson, the Chamber's Manager of Economic Research. "We fully expect to meet or exceed the 10 per cent annual growth that is forecast by industry analysts," he said.