New State Chamber of Oklahoma report shows economic improvement and challenges

OKLAHOMA – Oklahoma 21st Century, a nonprofit research foundation affiliate of The State Chamber of Oklahoma, delivered this week the “2010 Accountability for a Competitive Economy” () Book to state leaders. The annual report provides a look at how Oklahoma ranks in comparison with other states in more than 40 areas. For the first time, the report highlights not just Oklahoma, but our seven neighboring states. It also includes several color graphs which provide easy comparison.

Many key indicators exhibit a better economic performance than other states in the region or the nation. Personal income growth in Oklahoma continued a steady growth pattern (Table 6), and Oklahoma’s Cost of Doing Business kept us in the top 10 in the country (Table 12).

There are still many challenges to Oklahoma’s competitiveness. Oklahoma ranks 12th in the nation in the average cost of workers’ compensation benefits (Table 22) and pays the ninth highest workers’ compensation premium (Table 23). With a ranking of 41st in students over 25 years old obtaining a bachelor’s degree and with only 84.3 percent of Oklahomans graduating from high school (Table 32), it is difficult for employers to find skilled and educated workers. The National Assessment of Education Programs shows Oklahoma’s fourth graders ranked 37th in reading and 36th in math, while our eighth graders ranked 34th in reading and 40th in math (Table 34).

While state and local health and hospital spending per capita is ranked 39th in the nation (Table 40), an increasing percentage of people have employment-based health insurance compared to 1990 (Table 42).

“Our state’s achievements, as well as our shortcomings, need to be recognized by our political and business leadership in these difficult economic times,” said Mike Seney, senior vice president of operations for The State Chamber of Oklahoma. “We think the Book should be a constant companion for our legislature. The continuing comparison will be reported annually.”

Oklahoma 21st Century is governed by a board of directors comprised of companies throughout Oklahoma. The foundation has reported on Oklahoma’s issues and economic development climate since 1982. To access the full report, go to Report.

About The State Chamber of Oklahoma
Representing more than 2,000 Oklahoma businesses and 400,000 employees, The State Chamber of Oklahoma has been the state’s leading advocate for business since 1926. For more information, visit

Updated 01-14-2010

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