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Oklahoma economy expected to continue growth in 2013, OSU economist forecasts

Oklahoma State University economist Dan Rickman expects employment growth of 1.7 percent for Oklahoma in 2013, down slightly from a growth rate of 2.5 percent in 2012.
by Paul Monies Published: December 6, 2012

Rickman said Oklahoma attracted new residents from recession-battered states in 2009 and 2010. The largest share came from California, followed by Texas, Missouri and Kansas. Also ranking high were Florida, Nevada and Illinois, according to his analysis of tax return data from the Internal Revenue Service.

“The pattern I see is that those people were mostly coming from states that were not doing as well,” Rickman said. “These are states that at the time were suffering from the bursting of the housing bubble — California, Florida, Nevada. Also, there was migration from states like Illinois and Michigan, where the manufacturing sector was hard hit.”

He said most forecasters expect a deal will be struck between Congress and President Barack Obama over several tax increases and spending cuts that would go into effect at the end of the year.

While the term “fiscal cliff” has been used as a shorthand way to describe the situation, Rickman said a better term might be “fiscal slope.” Even if no deal is reached, the effects would be spread out over the year, he said.

“It would take any growth we expect next year and wipe it out, and possibly put us into a mild recession,” Rickman said of the economy if no deal is reached. “Any growth in employment we would have in Oklahoma would be gone. There is a one-year impact that is pretty dramatic if we went through that. It could be a mild recession rather than a slow recovery, but it's not cataclysmic.”

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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