If the rankings were done in March, few, if any, service companies may have hit the top 12, Dollarhide believes.
"But we’re starting to see signs of economic recovery,” he said. "Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke and others predict a full recovery by the middle of next year.”
In the second tier of service companies, two gained ground and one slid. They are:
→Sonic Corp., No. 18 from No. 31, an Oklahoma City-based drive-in restaurant company.
→Vaughan Foods Inc., No. 31 from No. 15, a Moore-based regional provider of vegetables, refrigerated deli salads, soups and stews, sauces, sandwiches and fruit.
→ADDvantage Technologies Group Inc., No. 37 from No. 38, a Broken-Arrow based company that resells cable TV equipment.
Oklahoma’s services industry holds its own in terms of employment, said Lynn Gray, an economist with the state Employment Security Commission.
The sector, which includes retail, restaurants, hospitals and government, is responsible for nearly 84 percent of the jobs in the state, Gray said.
Companies with a broader national market — such as Sonic and Prepaid Legal Services — are especially important, Gray said, because of their heavy involvement in export sales.
Over the past 12 months, Gray said, service companies have lost fewer jobs than goods-producing industries.