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Oklahoma City metro ranks 6th in national economic growth, Brookings report finds

Strong employment growth helped the Oklahoma City metro rank high in a Brookings Institution report on metropolitan economies around the world. The Oklahoma City area came in at No. 71 in a global ranking of 300 metropolitan areas.
by Paul Monies Modified: November 29, 2012 at 10:07 pm •  Published: November 30, 2012

The Oklahoma City metropolitan area ranked sixth in the nation and 71st in the world for economic performance from 2011 to 2012, according to a Brookings Institution report released Thursday.

Brookings' Global MetroMonitor report looked at gross domestic product and employment growth for 300 metro areas.

Oklahoma City ranked sixth among U.S. metro areas, behind Houston, San Jose, Calif.; Salt Lake City; Louisville, Ky.; and Austin, Texas. The Tulsa metro came in at No. 14 in the United States and 106th overall.

The report said Oklahoma City had “partially recovered from a major recession.” It outperformed the United States on employment growth but lagged on per capita GDP. Employment grew 2.8 percent from 2011 to 2012, while per capita GDP rose 0.8 percent, according to Brookings' analysis.

Eric Long, research economist for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, said such reports give a view of the area's economy in a global context.

“So often we just see metro reports that just compare us against other cities in the United States,” Long said. “It's interesting when someone goes to the trouble of showing how we fit into the overall global economy and how we compare to cities throughout the world.”

Long said the area's job growth was strong in energy, professional services and retail trade.

He said the chamber's preliminary estimates for 2013 put employment growth for the Oklahoma City metro at 2.3 percent. “We expect solid growth, but maybe not as strong as this past year,” he said.

The Brookings report said just three U.S. metro areas — Dallas, Knoxville, Tenn., and Pittsburgh — had fully recovered from the effects of the global economic recession.

“The global metropolitan economy is fragile, and many problems like the falling eurozone and the slowdown of emerging economies are here to stay, at least for the immediate future,” said Emilia Istrate, an associate fellow at Brookings and the report's lead author. “Despite their challenges, U.S. metro economies are helping power the global recovery. If upcoming debates over the fiscal cliff and long-term solvency derail their progress, it could severely threaten not only the U.S., but also the broader global recovery.”

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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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