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December 7, 2012

State’s ‘bounce back’ will continue in 2013

NORMAN — The state’s “bounce back” from the recession and more recent economic struggles will continue next year, an economist told Oklahoma business leaders this week.

Dan Rickman told OSU’s Economic Outlook Conference that he expects about 26,000 new jobs to be created next year. Most will be in professional, business services and in construction, the Associated Press reported.

Mr. Rickman told the group employment is expected to exceed the national average in growth. Oklahoma jobs should grow about 1.7 percent in 2013, down from 2.5 percent this year.

The metropolitan area should grow a bit more than communities statewide. Manufacturing, the basis for much of Oklahoma’s job growth in the 1970s and 1980s, doesn’t appear to be growing.

Many of those jobs lost in the past four years are not coming back. Closed plants throughout the state reflect changes in business plans. Oil and gas manufacturing remains a bright spot in many counties as natural gas prices have rebounded some.

He said weak growth can be expected in counties adjacent to metropolitan areas and those areas where there is already significant poverty.

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