It’s hard to predict what the economy will look like a year (or a decade) from now, but if you’re looking for a stable, recession-proof locale, Oklahoma checks all the boxes. Compared to major coastal cities, property in Oklahoma is readily available and inexpensive. Combine that with a steadily growing job market and low cost of living, residents of the Schooner state will be able to weather any economic downturn.
Strong Jobs Outlook
Oklahoma is a great place to begin or advance your career. Overall, it has a very low unemployment rate. At a 4% unemployment rate (as of May 2021), the local economy has essentially returned to pre-pandemic levels. This is due, in part, to the state’s strong agriculture, aviation, energy, and tech industries.
The aerospace industry is particularly resilient because of its focus on defense contracts rather than commercial aviation. Jobs with military ties are more likely to have job security since they’re not tied to the economy or travel trends. Beyond aerospace, other industries are also booming in the state. A recent Zillow article ranked Oklahoma City number 1 out of 42 large metro areas nationwide for tech companies and start-ups looking to expand. Furthermore, because Oklahoma is a right-to-work state, labor costs are about 25% below the national average, making it an attractive option to employers.
And if you can work remotely, like many of us now do, Oklahoma is a great place to consider. In Fundera’s list of best cities for freelancers, Oklahoma City ranked number #13 thanks in part to its 4.5% increase in job growth and 10% self employment rate. Many freelancers are discovering they can make big city wages while also enjoying the low cost of living that the prairie offers.
Low Cost of Living, High Quality of Life
In addition to its strong job prospects, Oklahoma also offers a low cost of living. In the Bestplaces.net cost of living index, Oklahoma’s housing costs are rated 54/100 (with 100 being the average) making it one of the most affordable places to purchase property. And along with those good real estate deals, Oklahomans also enjoy low property taxes.
According to SmartAsset, “the median annual property tax payment in Oklahoma is $1,278, which is the 10th lowest amount of any state.” And since the national median annual property tax payment is $2,578, Oklahomans net an average of $1,300 in savings. Because housing is affordable in Oklahoma, out-of-staters and residents looking to make passive income have been purchasing property to use as rentals.
And if you’re considering the Oklahoma City Metro area, keep in mind that it has some of the best public schools in the state. In addition to stable home values and better resale conditions, a strong school district can also mean an abundance of high-quality — and well-funded — recreational spaces, parks, playgrounds, and libraries. These public amenities can withstand a recession and may even offer job opportunities for management and maintenance.
While no one knows what the future holds, it’s safe to say Oklahoma is an ideal place to put down roots.