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Chesapeake layoffs will ripple through Oklahoma City economy

Layoffs at Chesapeake Energy Corp. will affect the Oklahoma City area economy in the short-term but should be tempered by a robust energy sector and stable job growth, economists said Tuesday.
by Paul Monies Modified: October 8, 2013 at 8:30 pm •  Published: October 9, 2013

/articleid/3891311/1/pictures/2234246">Photo - More than 900 employees lost their jobs in late 2006 when AOL closed its call center in Oklahoma City. <strong>PAUL HELLSTERN - The Oklahoman Archives</strong>
More than 900 employees lost their jobs in late 2006 when AOL closed its call center in Oklahoma City. PAUL HELLSTERN - The Oklahoman Archives

Agee said Chesapeake's cuts will be painful in the short-term but won't devastate the Oklahoma City economy, which is helped by dynamic energy sector. Hopefully other energy companies in the area will be able to offer jobs to many of the affected employees, he said.

“This is the transition (Chesapeake) is going through as they really try to focus on their core assets,” Agee said. “People forgot about GM and Dayton (Tire) after a few years. As hard as this is right now, a year from now, it will have worked itself through the system.”

Bob Dauffenbach, director of the Center for Economic and Management Research at the University of Oklahoma, said the Chesapeake layoffs and continued uncertainty over the partial shutdown of the federal government remain a concern for the Oklahoma City area, he said.

Energy jobs typically pay much higher salaries than most other sectors of the economy. Dauffenbach estimated each Chesapeake job loss would be multiplied through the local economy two or three times.

“Oklahoma City has certainly had a huge beneficial effect from energy and all that is going on there,” Dauffenbach said.

“The Chesapeake jobs and income losses will not be an easy blow to absorb,” he said.

by Paul Monies
Energy Reporter
Paul Monies is an energy reporter for The Oklahoman. He has worked at newspapers in Texas and Missouri and most recently was a data journalist for USA Today in the Washington D.C. area. Monies also spent nine years as a business reporter and...
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