Things are looking up for manufacturers in a nine-state region that includes Oklahoma.
For July, the Mid-America Business Conditions Index reached its highest level since March 2019, 57.4, up more than seven points from June. Numbers above 50 on the 0–100 scale indicate growth. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss said those two months in positive territory came after three months of contraction.
“This was as good a survey as I think we could have hoped for. We need several more months of above-growth neutral readings to really feel good about the regional economy,” Goss said.
Oklahoma actually led the region on the July manufacturing survey, posting a score of 69, up 16 points from June.
Employment was most states’ weak point in the survey, including Oklahoma.
“And so, we’ve got a long way to go yet. Again, about 900,000 jobs that we’ve got to add to get back to pre-COVID levels, but we’re moving in the right direction,” Goss said.
Goss is forecasting slight job gains in Oklahoma, which he says is down about 83,000 total jobs since the pandemic started, including 9,200 manufacturing jobs.