Oklahoma is in the top two when it comes to producing high-paying manufacturing jobs, according to a new economic report produced by Arizona State University. The Blue Chip Job Growth Update ranked Oklahoma second nationally for its manufacturing job growth in January.
"High-paying manufacturing jobs are the best kinds of jobs you can bring to a state because they raise personal income. The fact that Oklahoma is number two in the nation in manufacturing job growth indicates we have one of the strongest economies in the country," said Senator Ted Fisher, chairman of the Senate Economic Development Committee.
"This is more great news for Oklahoma and a tribute to our friendly business climate."
According to the Blue Chip, In January of 1997 Oklahoma's manufacturing job growth increased by 5.19 percent over the same period the previous year, an additional 8,700 jobs. Only Washington state had a higher growth rate. Texas ranked 13th, Arkansas 45th, Kansas 5th, New Mexico 20th and Colorado 23rd.
"It's pretty encouraging when you can beat the pants off of regional rivals like Texas in the competition for the best jobs. Our challenge now is to make sure the economic growth continues, and I believe it will with the help of incentive programs like Quality Jobs," said Senator Fisher, referring to the highly successful job creation tool he authored four years ago.
What is especially significant about the manufacturing ranking is the level of pay those industries provide their workers. Manufacturers traditionally have the highest payrolls and can help boost the personal income of the states in which they locate.
"If we can continue to land the manufacturers and the high-paying jobs they bring, we can push our personal income up and make Oklahoma a more prosperous state. We're obviously doing something right on the policy front. We just have to keep up the good work and accelerate our efforts if possible," said Senator Fisher.
Oklahoma also scored well in overall employment growth, ranking 11th nationally in the Blue Chip report. It scored highly in the service job growth, ranking 5th. It ranked the lowest in government job growth at 34th.
"We seem to be moving the right way in all the pertinent categories. We're low in government job activity and high in private sector growth. That's an equation for success," said Senator Fisher.