NOTE:Click here to access all of the presentations by the speakers at the 2015 Oklahoma Economic Outlook Conference.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma is expected to see continued job growth in 2015, Oklahoma
State University economist Dan Rickman said Tuesday during the 2015 Oklahoma Economic
The conference is hosted each December by the Center for Applied Economic Research
in OSU’s Spears School of Business. This year’s conference, held at the Metro Technology
Centers at Springlake Campus in Oklahoma City, included discussions of economic conditions
and prospects for Oklahoma and the United States.
Rickman projects that over 30,000 jobs will be added to the Oklahoma workforce during
the 12-month period beginning Jan. 1, 2015. The majority of those jobs are expected
to be in administrative and support services and durable goods manufacturing (with
more than 5,000 new jobs created in each sector). Over 4,000 jobs are expected to
be created in each of health services and the sector including accommodation, food
services, leisure services and hospitality employment.
Other industries in which major job growth is forecast are construction (more than
3,000) and retail trade (1,800), said Rickman, Regents Professor of Economics and
Oklahoma Gas and Electric Services Chair in Regional Economic Analysis.
“Declining oil prices is the major headwind facing the Oklahoma economy,” Rickman
said. “The current forecast is for a minor decline in energy related employment in
2015, but the decline will prove to be greater should oil prices fall further.”
“The Oklahoma economy should be buoyed by stronger U.S. growth in 2015,” he added.
Within Oklahoma, Rickman forecasts strongest employment growth for the Oklahoma City
metropolitan area. Non-metropolitan areas of Oklahoma will lag statewide and national
Rickman concluded by saying that “longer term, aging of the state population and lower
than average education and skills of the Oklahoma labor force present significant
challenges to future growth.”
Others speaking at the conference were:
Deidre D. Myers, Deputy Secretary of Commerce for Workplace Development, Oklahoma
Department of Commerce;
Chad Wilkerson, Vice President, Branch Executive and Economist, Federal Reserve Bank
of Kansas City, Oklahoma City branch.
John Winters, Assistant Professor of Economics, Oklahoma State University.
Hongbo Wang, Ph.D. student in the Department of Economics and Legal Students in Business,
Oklahoma State University.
Sponsors of the conference were the Center for Applied Economic Research (CAER) at
the Spears School of Business, CareerTech, Metro Technology Centers, and OSU’s Center
for Executive and Professional Development.