Local & Regional
3:56 pm
Wed June 16, 2010

Tulsa ranks as recession-proof

Washington, D.C. – Although it may not feel like it, a new Brookings Institution study released Tuesday shows that Tulsa is fairly recession-proof.

Tulsa, along with Oklahoma City, ranked among the 21 metropolitan areas that have been the strongest-performing during the recession.

"We looked at the 100 largest metropolitan areas to see how they've been doing since the beginning of the recession, and whether they're recovering," said Howard Wial, Brookings economist and fellow. "Tulsa's strong basically because it has low unemployment compared to the rest of the country, unemployment hasn't gone up very much compared to the rest of the country, and its housing market is relatively strong."

Tulsa's performance has to do with its dependence on the oil and natural gas industry, which tends to do well during recession, Wial said.

State capitols and government centers also tend to perform well, due to a stable employment base.

Wial said that the ranking does not mean that Tulsa, or any of the cities that made the top 21, are not struggling.

"This report shows that different metropolitan areas perform very differently during the recession and recovery and they need different amounts and different kinds of help from the federal government. Tulsa doesn't need as much help as Detroit," Wial said.