OSU Economist Lowers Job Growth Forecast for Oklahoma

By Davis, KirLee | THE JOURNAL RECORD, August 2, 2007 | Go to article overview

OSU Economist Lowers Job Growth Forecast for Oklahoma


Davis, KirLee, THE JOURNAL RECORD


A softening national economy spurred OSU research economist Mark Sneed to lower his state job growth projections for 2007 despite the Oklahoma City market's continued strength.

That marks a course change from what Sneed predicted at the end of the first quarter, when the director of Oklahoma State University's Spears School of Business Center for Applied Economic Research increased his state outlook to 1.6-percent growth despite the national malaise.

But with first-half U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data in hand that places both Oklahoma and the U.S. at 1.5-percent job growth, Sneed lowered his full-year state projection to only 1.4 percent - less than half the rate seen at the start of 2006.

Even so, Sneed expects the state's continued energy sector strength, and upward revisions in Oklahoma's 2006 job growth, to outpace a national economy expected to close 2007 with 1.3-percent job gains.

As seen with the 2006 revisions, he also suspects the current state job numbers may understate actual job growth.

"The national economic backdrop for the state remains unchanged - relatively high energy prices, soft housing and construction markets, and a Federal Reserve concerned with inflation," he said in his midyear update. "Despite these constraints, the state economy is faring well as a result of the ongoing boost from energy and a housing market that is largely ignoring weakness at the national level. …

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