economy

Oklahoma Treasurer Ken Miller
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma's treasurer says low oil and natural gas prices helped push last month's state revenue below levels from a year earlier. 

Treasurer Ken Miller said Wednesday the state's gross receipts in June were less than collections from the prior year for the second consecutive month and the fourth time in the fiscal year that ended June 30.

Puerto Rico evokes images of beautiful beaches, palm trees and perfect weather. But economically, the island is struggling. It’s in its eighth year of recession, the unemployment rate is 12 percent and tens of thousands of people have left the island in recent years in search of better opportunities.

Puerto Rico is now $73 billion in debt and no longer able to meet its payments, and the government is facing the very real possibility that it will run out of money by July.

401 (K) 2012 / Flickr.com

A new monthly survey report says April results suggest that slow economic growth remains ahead for nine Midwestern and Plains states.

The survey report issued Friday says the overall Mid-America Business Conditions Index rose to 52.7 last month from 51.4 in March.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says rising economic expectations from non-energy firms, resulting from lower energy prices, "more than offset economic pessimism stemming from weakness in firms directly tied to energy."

okpolicy.org

Unresolved issues tied to education, incarceration and mental health services will hamstring Oklahoma’s ability to remain among the nation’s top 5 fastest growing economies, a panel of government officials and economists concluded during the Oklahoma Policy Institute’s 2nd Annual State Budget Summit.

On January 29, OPI Director of Policy Gene Perry led the panel through “An Economic Check-Up” of the state’s current economic conditions and fiscal policies. 

Kate Hiscock / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission says the state's unemployment rate declined by two-tenths of a percentage point in December, from 4.4 percent in November to 4.2 percent.

State officials said Tuesday that five of the state's nine seasonally adjusted business sectors added jobs in December. Professional and business services led the way with an over-the-month increase of 2,000 jobs. The construction, educational and health services and government sectors also posted sizeable gains for the month.

Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise discuss day-after-Christmas traditions around the world, and Joshua Landis provides an update on how economies around the world have fared during 2014.

Then, a conversation with photojournalist and activist Paula Allen. For a quarter century, she has chronicled the stories of these women during and after the search for their missing family members. She published her photos in the book Flowers in the Desert.

Shoppers lining up at the Chadstone Shopping Centre just outside Melbourne, Australia - December 26, 2007.
avlxyz / Flickr

The United Kingdom and many Commonwealth countries typically celebrate Boxing Day every December 26. The tradition of giving servants and tradespeople a "Christmas box" of food and gifts from their employers dates back to the Middle Ages.

In South Africa, the holiday was officially renamed the Day of Goodwill in 1994. But in other European countries, December 26 is celebrated as "Second Christmas Day" - an entirely different holiday.

Kate Hiscock / Flickr Creative Commons

State officials say Oklahoma's unemployment rate dipped to 4.4 percent last month.

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission reported Friday that November's unemployment rate showed a slight decrease from October's rate of 4.5 percent. Meanwhile, the U.S. unemployment rate held steady at 5.8 percent.

Over the year, the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 1.1 percentage points.

CALI2OKIE / Flickr (Creative Commons)

Lower oil prices are raising new financial worries in Oklahoma and other states that rely on oil taxes to pay for roads and other government services.

With oil prices around a five-year low, budget officials in about a half-dozen states have begun paring back projections for a continued gusher of revenues. Spending cuts have started in some places, and more reductions could be necessary if oil prices remain at lower levels during the coming year.

Oklahoma State University economist Dan Rickman
Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma will continue to see job growth in 2015, even if lower energy prices slow those increases, Oklahoma State University economist Dan Rickman said Tuesday.

Speaking at the 2015 Oklahoma Economic Outlook Conference, which is hosted by the OSU Center for Applied Economic Research at the university’s Spears School of Business, Rickman forecast over 30,000 jobs will be added to the Oklahoma workforce during the 12-month period beginning Jan. 1.

The majority of the jobs, he said, are expected to be in administrative and support services and durable goods manufacturing. More than 5,000 new jobs are projected to be created in each sector, according to Rickman.

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