OK Policy points to key economic, budget and other trends

By Patrick B. McGuigan

Published 15-Jan-2011

In the latest edition of “Numbers You Need” from Oklahoma Policy Institute, analyst David Blatt concludes Oklahoma “shows continued signs of an uncertain economic recovery in Oklahoma.”
Among the key findings from OK Policy are these:

•   Oklahoma’s jobless rate remained flat at 6.9 percent in November for the 3rd straight month, while total employment fell by 3,100 jobs;

•   State personal income in the 3rd quarter of 2010 grew by 1.0 percent, down from 1.8 percent in the 2nd quarter;

•   December revenue collections were up 13 percent from the year before. For the year, FY ’11 revenue is up 7.5 percent from FY ’10 but remains 23 percent below FY ’09 (see our blog post); 

•   The number of Oklahomans receiving SNAP (formerly food stamp) benefits declined in October following 30 straight months of growth, but Medicaid enrollment rose 2.1 percent in October, reaching an historic high of 726,960 persons.

In broader context on the employment data, OK Policy reported

“There are signs that more jobless workers are simply exiting the workforce, as total non-farm employment  fell by 3,100 in November. The number of  average weekly continuing claims for jobless benefits fell for the ninth time in ten months in November and is now 26 percent less than one year ago.”

As for pressures on personal income, including inflation, Blatt notes: “The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the South region was unchanged in November. For the month, transportation was the only index to rise (+0.6 percent), while the cost of several major items declined. Over the past 12 months, overall inflation has risen by a modest 1.1 percent. The cost of transportation (+3.9 percent) and medical care (+3.3 percent) have seen the largest increases, while apparel (-1.5 percent), recreation (-1.2 percent) and housing (-0.2 percent) have all fallen.”

The January report also includes K-12 public school enrollment data. For a summary of information previously detailed by CapitolBeatOK, see here.

Every month, Oklahoma Policy Institute’s “Numbers You Need” provides a useful rolling analysis of the state economy and budget picture. Links to prior months can be found here.