BY World's Editorials Writers
Monday, February 04, 2013
2/04/13 at 8:15 AM
Before Oklahomans turn the page on 2012, there are some economic indicators worth remembering, and worth repeating. They come from two top state officials: Treasurer Ken Miller and Department of Commerce Secretary Dave Lopez.
Here's the first, from Miller: Total-year revenue collections exceeded 2011 by 3.8 percent. That is not rapid growth but it beats the alternative experienced by so many other states that continue to struggle with loss of revenues and high jobless numbers. According to a new economic report by Miller's office, December marked the eighth time in 2012 that collections exceeded those of the same month in 2011.
"Twelve-month collections now stand more than $1.7 billion higher than in February 2010," Miller said. "Since we hit the trough almost three years ago, almost 90 percent of the revenue lost from our peak in 2008 has been recovered."
Lopez is similarly pleased with the state's jobless numbers:
"Where we rank in overall employment growth from 2011 to now is fourth out of all the states," he said. "First is North Dakota, which as I've said before I think we should get credit for because it's all Oklahoma companies doing business up there. Then it's Utah, Texas and then us."
In 2012, Oklahoma's workforce grew by 37,000 people.
"When we're looking just at labor force numbers and how much they grew, we're seventh in the nation," Lopez said. "And that's by the overall number, not based on the state's population, but just the sheer amount of growth in the workforce."
Overall, Oklahoma is at 5.3 percent unemployment and the nation is at 7.9. For states with 2 million or more in population, Oklahoma ranks No. 1 with lowest unemployment.
The reports are encouraging. For once Oklahoma is not bringing up the rear in national rankings.