“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.”