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Dust Bowl No More: How Oklahoma is Singing a Different Tune after this Recession, Compared to the Last

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oct. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- While national data continues to showcase a flat economy, Oklahoma remains one of the nation's bright spots with news that it marked the largest gain in median household income among all states, as well as an increase in personal income.

According to the Census Bureau's annual Current Population Survey, Oklahoma's median household income of $48,955 showed a 9 percent increase from 2010 making it one of only six states with a median household income (MHI) higher than the pre-recession level in 2007. Nationally, the median household income actually declined by 1.5 percent.

In addition, last week, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) announced that personal income in the state grew by 1.2 percent in the second quarter, accounting for more than $6.1 billion in personal income since 2011.

"The growth in both personal and household income is more great news that Oklahoma's economy continues on the right path," said Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin. "For us to keep our economic momentum moving forward, we must continue our focus on pro-growth policies that will help bring more jobs and investment in the state."

So far in 2012, this focus has proved successful for Oklahoma with companies such as Google, Boeing, Schlumberger, Asco Inc. and Phillips 66 all announcing relocations to the state, which have contributed to nearly 11,000 new jobs and $1.6 billion in investment to date.

In August, Oklahoma's unemployment rate was 5.1 percent compared to its highest of 7.1 percent during the recession, making it the fourth lowest rate in the country and lowest of all states with more than 2 million people, in 2012.

With this gain, Oklahoma has now exceeded the state's payroll employment high before the recession by over 3,000 jobs. Oklahoma is one of only four states to surpass pre-recession highs and claim full job recovery.

While Oklahoma weathered the recession thanks in part to the energy industry and low cost of doing business, Governor Fallin's leadership has allowed the state to be extremely deliberate in its policy initiatives to grow and support business.

Case in point, in 2011 Governor Fallin signed a measure that's designed to attract aerospace engineers to the state, bolster the industry, immediately cut income taxes for Oklahomans in all tax brackets and begin the process of simplifying and consolidating the state's IT infrastructure.

Governor Fallin's emphasis on business and keeping the state economy on track, is paying off.

"People across the country are noticing what we're doing," said Fallin. "Oklahoma stands as a testament to the fact that low taxes, limited government and fiscal discipline are a recipe for job creation."


Deidre Myers 
(405) 815-6552

SOURCE Oklahoma Department of Commerce