Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Standing Tall in 2011: Oklahoma City Ranks High on National Lists

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Standing Tall in 2011: Oklahoma City Ranks High on National Lists

Article excerpt

Oklahoma City is the best city of the nation's largest 100 metro areas for economic security, according to the latest Urban Institute MetroTrends survey.

Unemployment in Oklahoma City is a big benefit to its residents, researchers said, as are the area's housing prices and the annual income level necessary to afford a two-bedroom apartment. The survey results also showed that the share of local homeowners who faced serious delinquency in 2011 was better than many other big cities. Omaha, Neb., and Wichita, Kan., followed in second and third place, respectively, and Las Vegas was last on the list.

That accolade was just one of several that Oklahoma City won in 2011, providing plenty of promotional material for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber to use in 2012, chamber President and CEO Roy Williams said. For example, the city was also No. 1 in charitable giving, according to Parade Magazine, and had the highest growth of gross metropolitan product, or GMP, for 2007-2009 and the second- highest for 2009-2010 in Global Insight's latest annual U.S. Metro Economies Report.

"It is a reflection of what we've seen the last couple of years in the economy and how different Oklahoma City and the metro have been from the rest of the country," Williams said. "Our unemployment continues to be among the lowest, our housing market has held up better than almost anyone else, and our cost of living continues to be extremely competitive.

"And whenever you have third parties - whether it's Forbes or Fortune or the Wall Street Journal - spotlight what's going on in your region, it's much more meaningful than what you tout yourself," he said. "It does really pay off. It's one thing to say, 'Well, isn't that nice.' But it's something else when other people read it and see that we've consistently been winning accolades over a number of years.

Other successes in 2011 fell just below first place, but will still be useful for the chamber's purposes, he said: The city was second in the Small Business Vitality Index, according to the U. …

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