Oklahoma's economy has lost some momentum over the past year, but is still on stronger footing than many other parts of the country.
That's the view from Chad Wilkerson, regional economist for the Oklahoma City branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, who spoke during the Fed's annual economic forecast in Oklahoma City on Monday.
“In Oklahoma City, job growth continues to exceed the rest of the nation — much as it has for the past 10 years,” Wilkerson said.
But job growth in western, southeastern and rural Oklahoma has slowed over the past year, Wilkerson said.
Low natural gas prices was a major factor for the slowdown in parts of the state where production had been focused on dry gas, he said.
Job growth in the energy sector is down 15 percent from a year ago, Wilkerson said. However, the state's energy sector is still relatively strong — oil and gas production has continued to increase in the state over the past year.
Sequestration is another factor for weakening job growth in Oklahoma, including in the manufacturing sector in the eastern part of the state due to a slowdown in government contracts, Wilkerson said.
“We're not sure what the future holds for the sequester, but it's probably pretty likely that we are not going to see an increase in federal spending over the next year,” he said.