Why are There So Many Manufacturing and Industrial Jobs in Tulsa, OK?

Why are There So Many Manufacturing and Industrial Jobs in Tulsa, OK?

Why Tulsa, OK? Discover the manufacturing and industrial jobs boom in our blog, exploring the factors behind this thriving sector.

The abundance of manufacturing and other industrial jobs in Tulsa can be attributed to its economy as a whole. It continues to add thousands of jobs annually in these sectors, comprising almost a third of Oklahoma’s total gross product in 2012. Today, Tulsa is one of the biggest and fastest-growing manufacturing cities in the United States.

The sector still has a long way to go to fully rebound from the economic recession, according to a Tulsa World report by Kyle Arnold. Manufacturing was hit hard despite the primary problem of the recession being the housing bubble, losing as much as 11,000 in early 2010. Nevertheless, the addition of 9,000 jobs from 2010 to 2014 is a welcome development for the local economy.

How did Tulsa cement itself as a major manufacturing hub? What influenced most jobs in Tulsa, OK to land in the industrial sector?

Oil and Planes

The oil rush had its own contribution in shaping America. Long before the state of Oklahoma was born, the Glenn Pool was discovered. Today, it’s a city 15 miles south of Tulsa; back in 1905, more than 120,000 barrels of black gold determined Tulsa’s destiny as an industrial economy. These reserves were easy to harvest using oil drilling equipment of the time.

The oil boom attracted companies whose equipment and products needed oil to operate. The first aviation companies cemented the city’s place as a manufacturing hub, producing airframes, parts, and other machines. The production line would eventually help the Allies win World War II, rolling out dozens of heavy bombers like the B-24 Liberator daily.

Aging and Demand

Between 2011 and 2029, the sector may experience a shortage in workers due to the rapidly increasing number of would-be retirees. These “baby boomers,” born between 1946 and 1964, are expected to turn 65 during the period. Companies are currently in search of young employees to rejuvenate their workforce and keep Tulsa’s economic gears well-oiled and turning.

This aging may be a factor in the paradox of a swelling number of industrial jobs in Tulsa with fewer people to take them. While it would be prompt and approrpiate to remind jobseekers that Tulsa was built on oil wells and aircraft factories, making manufacturing jobs look and sound more promising by offering good pay and benefits will get companies the willing hands they need.

As of this writing, thousands of spots are up for grabs in job listing sites like Barracuda Staffing. Now is a good time to continue the legacy Tulsa was built on.

(Source: “Tulsa ranks 12th in manufacturing growth nationwide,” Tulsa World, July 21, 2014)

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