Long-term success, new challenges

Posted by: Roy Williams on Monday, June 1, 2015 at 8:00:00 am

In March 2015, the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Statistical Area had an unemployment rate of 3.3 percent, tying it with Austin, Texas, for the lowest unemployment rate for large metros in the nation. While taking the top ranking for unemployment is always a positive sign, it only illuminates part of Oklahoma City’s story. The Oklahoma City metro has been among the five lowest unemployment rates for large metros for 51 consecutive months – that is more than four years of consistently strong numbers.

While a low unemployment signals success for our companies and our business climate, it also issues a challenge. In order for our economy to grow and our businesses to prosper, the growth of our workforce must be a top priority. Oklahoma City is positioned for future growth, but we can only do that with a skilled and available workforce. As the demand for quality workers continues to grow, we must look for ways to meet that demand.

Our first resource is our most valuable – our students. The Chamber’s Greater Grads program addresses the retention of Oklahoma’s college students with success, and we also advocate for the continued reform of our primary and secondary schools. But it will take a communitywide effort to make sure our students are career ready. The Chamber plans on leading that discussion at our annual State of the Schools luncheon on Aug. 20, and we hope you will make plans to join us. For the continued success of Oklahoma City, the development of our future workforce is a top priority.


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