The energy industry has driven Oklahoma City economy for many years, but has both up and down cycles. Greater economic diversity can give us a more stable long-term economy.
The share of Oklahoma City’s economy related to oil and gas is 6.65 times the national average. While these industries have long propelled economy, the state’s 8% unemployment rate during the energy downturn of the 1980s demonstrated the dangers of depending on one industry. Fortunately, Oklahoma City also has a large amount of government jobs, which provide some stability. However, additional diversity is needed. Opportunity areas for economic growth are health care, aerospace, renewable energy, manufacturing, and bio-science and other high-technology industries. The city’s investment in community quality through the MAPS program and the foundation of the University of Oklahoma Medical Center can help the city to capitalize on these opportunities.