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Energy Index Shows Employment Impact

Employment in Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas industry is growing, data from the most recent Oklahoma Energy Index (OEI) shows.

Upstream exploration and production jobs have accounted for more than 20 percent of all new statewide jobs in recent years, said Dr. Russell Evans, executive director of the Steven C. Agee Economic Research and Policy Institute. Following modest oil and gas industry job losses in the fall of 2013, job gains in July 2014 move the industry back above its previously reported high in August 2013.  The industry is currently estimated to employ 61,000 wage and salary workers as compared to the previous high mark of 60,100 workers reported last August.

“The state’s post-recession recovery has been driven almost singularly by the energy sector,” said Dr. Russell Evans, executive director of the Steven C. Agee Economic Research and Policy Institute. “Continued strength in the energy industry is critical to the state’s economic health.”
 
The energy index is a comprehensive measure of the state’s oil and gas production economy established to track industry growth rates and cycles in one of the country’s most active and vibrant energy-producing states. The OEI is a joint project of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association (OIPA), Bank SNB and the Steven C. Agee Economic Research and Policy Institute.

The index of oil and natural gas industry activity expanded slightly to 264.50 using data collected in July, a 1 percent increase from the previous month. Year-over-year growth increased by 6.6 percent.

“The US Energy Information Administration estimates that between 2003 and 2013 states with more than 10 percent energy production had higher than average economic growth,” said Chris Mostek, Vice President of Energy Lending for Bank SNB. “In 2013, approximately 13 percent of Oklahoma’s GDP was from energy production and this month’s OEI continues to show growth in 2014."

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