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Oklahoma City increases government jobs to 10-year high in wake of economic growth

Economic growth in Oklahoma City allowed the city government to add a net gain of 85 new jobs for the upcoming fiscal year. The total number of jobs in city government is finally approaching the level it was at before the first recession of the last decade.
BY MICHAEL KIMBALL mkimball@opubco.com Published: June 18, 2012
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Prosperity in the local economy led to a net gain of 85 jobs for Oklahoma City's government in the fiscal year that begins July 1. But even with the boost, the city is only just now approaching the same number of jobs it had 10 years ago.

There are 4,511 city jobs in the fiscal year 2013 Oklahoma City budget, the most since the city cut more than 200 jobs from 2001 to 2003 because of a recession, according to city figures. From a low of about 4,300 jobs in 2003, Oklahoma City added jobs every year until the next recession cut them back down to near that level by fiscal year 2011.

Conditions imposed by everything from global financial markets to the smallest parts of the local economy affect the city budget every year, city Budget Director Doug Dowler said.

“Sales tax is our primary source of revenue. As sales tax goes, so goes our number of employees,” Dowler said. “When people have less money to spend, we have less sales tax revenue coming in. Sales tax is driven by how many people are working and how much they're making at the jobs that they have.”

The city's all-time high water mark was more than 4,600 jobs in 1995.

Jobs aimed at needs

The net gain of 85 jobs for next year was spread out over a broad range of city departments.

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BY THE NUMBERS

Oklahoma City government jobs

Here is a list of the net gain of jobs for each department of the Oklahoma City government for fiscal year 2013, which begins July 1. Some departments had a net change of zero and are not listed.

Airports: 7

City manager: 2

Development Services: 8

Finance: 1

Fire: 1

General Services: 3

Information Technology: 6

Municipal Court: 1

Parks and Recreation: 3

Planning: 4

Police: 21

Public Transportation and Parking: 2

Public Works: 14

Utilities: 12

Source: City of Oklahoma City

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