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oklahoma economy

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As the first person at the State Capitol tests positive for COVID-19, state officials and agencies change their workflow to keep government open. KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss a momentous week at the Capitol.

Oklahoma's Economy Could Slow, Expert Says

Dec 11, 2019
Robert Dauffenbach speaks at a forum on the economy held Wednesday at the Meinders School of Business at Oklahoma City University.
(Photo by Steve Metzer)

The national economy is showing signs of slowing, and Oklahoma's economy could follow. Robert Dauffenbach, director of the Center for Economic and Management Research at the University of Oklahoma, says this is due in part to the state's reliance on oil and natural gas production. Journal Record editor Russell Ray discusses what Oklahomans should know about a possible economic downturn. 

KGOU - Dick Pryor

University of Oklahoma economist Dr. Robert Dauffenbach analyzes Oklahoma's economy and the national and state economic climate for 2020 with KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley.

The Red Bud dispensary in Marlow, Oklahoma.
Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Red Bud Dispensary in Marlow, Okla. looks like an Apple store, with white walls and track lighting. The dispensary is packed with people, but they aren’t here to buy medical marijuana. The dispensary hasn’t technically opened yet, so it doesn’t even have THC products – the mainly middle-aged crowd is standing around empty glass cases. They are here for something else – a doctor’s recommendation.

Robert Dauffenback

Oklahoma’s economy tracks closely with the price of oil, which has risen significantly since the 2014 downturn. In this episode of Capitol Insider, Bob Dauffenbach, the Senior Associate Dean for Economic Development and Impact at the University of Oklahoma, joins KGOU’s Dick Pryor and eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley to discuss the state’s economic outlook. Dauffenbach also offers his thoughts on what policymakers should be doing to harness the state's economic growth.

 

 FULL TRANSCRIPT:

A group of people take a tour of Bricktown via the canal.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

To know how to attract more visitors to Oklahoma City, the city needs to know what we don’t have.

The Greater Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau is circulating surveys to 800 people to find why people come, and to help identify tourism gaps.

State Treasurer Ken Miller
Sue Ogrocki / AP

The current economic downturn has now lasted longer than the Great Recession in Oklahoma.

State treasurer Ken Miller said the downturn in gross receipts has now lasted for 17 months, based on July figures released Friday. The gross receipts shrinkage after the financial crisis eight years ago lasted from December 2008 to February 2010.

A man shops for a tractor at Great Plains Kubota in Edmond.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is projecting farm incomes nationwide will drop this year to the lowest levels since 2002. Farm equipment dealers aren’t surprised.

Frank Serrano, the manager of the Great Plains Kubota in Edmond, told The Journal Record’s Brian Brus that construction equipment and mowers are selling well, but farmers aren’t buying tractors.

Kate Hiscock / Flickr Creative Commons

The unemployment rate rose in 66 of Oklahoma's 77 counties from December to January according to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.

The county report released Friday shows the lowest unemployment rates in the state in the Panhandle and the highest in the southeast.

Cimarron County had the lowest rate at 2.3 percent, followed by Beaver County at 2.6 percent. The highest rate is in McIntosh County at 8.7 percent with Haskell and Latimer counties at 7.8 percent each.

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis indicates Oklahoma came close to a recession last year due to stagnant energy prices.

Numbers out Wednesday show Oklahoma saw just 0.1 percent gross domestic product growth during the third quarter of 2015. Only Alaska, North Dakota, and West Virginia saw worse numbers – with negative GDP growth. Oklahoma was on par with Texas, New Mexico, Washington, Nevada, Wyoming, and New York at GDP growth below 1 percent.

Workers uncap a well in the western Oklahoma oil field in 2014.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Slumping oil prices have fueled thousands of job losses in big energy states like Oklahoma, which is “gripped by a mini-recession,” economist Mark Snead tells the Journal Record‘s Kirby Lee Davis:

“The notion that Oklahoma has diversified away from oil and gas is, at this point, many, many years away,” he said.