Oklahoma manufacturing rebounds in 2011

The industry added more than 10,000 jobs this year and a manufacturer took the top spot in our annual rankings of the best performing Oklahoma companies.
BY JENNIFER PALMER jpalmer@opubco.com Published: November 13, 2011
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Gaining jobs

Oklahoma manufacturers added at least 10,000 jobs this year, said Chuck Prucha, president of the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance.

The state's strongest industries include oil and gas and aerospace, both of which support manufacturing.

Employment is one good measure of the industry, but another is productivity, which continues to improve, Prucha added.

“Oklahoma has not taken the same hit in manufacturing as everyone else,” he said.

But in some cases, businesses will continue to keep payrolls lean rather than add workers.

“When you enter an economic downturn, companies learn to do more with less,” said Mike Seney, senior vice president for The State Chamber of Oklahoma. Companies may have dropped a third shift or decreased overtime, and resist bringing it back until production merits it, he said.

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Large part of state workforce

Oklahoma's close to 4,000 manufacturing companies employ 130,000 workers, said Mike Seney, senior vice president for The State Chamber of Oklahoma, making up 10 percent of the state's workforce.

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