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Forbes list ranks Oklahoma City among fastest-growing metro areas

Continued low unemployment and job growth helped put Oklahoma City at No. 17 on the Forbes list.
by Paul Monies Published: January 24, 2013

The Oklahoma City metropolitan area is among the country's fastest growing for population and jobs, according to a Forbes ranking released Wednesday.

The business publication put Oklahoma City at No. 17 on its list, which used federal population estimates, employment data and salary estimates for college graduates to rank the top 20 metro areas.

Oklahoma City's population grew by an estimated 1 percent in 2012, and it's expected to grow by 1.2 percent in 2013, Forbes said.

The city had an average unemployment rate of 4.5 percent last year as the number of jobs grew by 2.8 percent.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said Oklahoma City's unemployment rate of 4.5 percent for November was the best among large metros for the eighth consecutive month. The city has topped that list for 19 of the past 23 months.

The Forbes list said Oklahoma City's gross metro product — the value of all goods and services produced — grew by 4.8 percent in 2012. The median salary for college graduates was $52,100.

Three Texas cities — Austin, Houston and Dallas — topped the Forbes list, while San Antonio came in at No. 9.

“Robust labor markets, unemployment rates under 6 percent (well below the national average), no state income tax, a business-friendly regulatory environment and strong population inflows all contributed to Texas towns' high rankings,” Forbes 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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