Southwestern Oklahoma State University
Workforce and Economic Data Available for Communities through SWOSU Center
Current conditions of local business and labor markets are now available for local communities and business leaders through the Center for Economic and Business Development (CEBD) at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford.
The information, which is available on the CEBD’s Web site at www.swosu.edu/cebd/business-market.htm includes jobs in demand and supply, average wage rates, industry sales, new jobs, changes in jobs and job projections through 2010.
The information, updated biannually with data that is only six months old, focuses on three main sections: Economic Forecaster, Career Pathways and Economic Impact. The Economic Forecaster and Career Pathways projections consist of the six regions of Oklahoma and also the counties included in the Southwestern Oklahoma Impact Coalition (SOIC). The Economic Impact section is comprised of the regions in southwest Oklahoma, the Oklahoma City metro area, the SOIC region and the state of Oklahoma.
Fui Phang, senior research analyst, said the Economic Forecaster provides current and projected growth or decline of more than 400 industries classified by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). It gives the current and projected growth and decline of numerous occupations and provides average earnings. The Economic Forecaster also provides age, gender and ethnicity of the population projected to 2010.
Career Pathways determines the supply of available workers in a region and the corresponding jobs in demand. The O*NET Compatibility Index measures the similarity of skills between a worker and the available occupation, which provides crucial information regarding a region’s ability to meet the needs of its developing industries.
The Economic Impact section provides a quantifiable and economically sound method for determining the relative impact of proposed or impending changes to a regional economy. It allows users to discover which sectors of the local region actually drive the economy.
Phang said the data provided can be used for a variety of purposes. For example, the data can be used as an aid in decisions concerning job market opportunities, identifying relative strength and weaknesses of an area’s business segment, etc. This information, in turn, will facilitate job seekers, regional developers and community leaders to capitalize on areas of opportunity.
For more information, contact the Center for Economic and Business Development at 580.774.7095 or visit www.swosu.edu/cebd/business-market.htm.
Economic Modeling Service Offered by SWOSU
Communities in Oklahoma often are faced with a variety of questions concerning economic and demographic growth, development and policy changes. An economic modeling service is now being offered to all communities across the state by the Center for Economic and Business Development at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford.
The REMI (Regional Economic Models, Inc.), featuring Policy Insight® model, is a well-known leading dynamic input-output econometric model that is used to analyze various types of scenarios, such as:
- Are the incentives required to build or expand a manufacturing plant potentially cost beneficial to the local communities?
- What is the economic importance of a new-publicly funded convention center upon a community region?
- What are some of the severance impacts a local economy faces if a facility closed down?
- How crucial would the impacts of a policy change or sales tax hike be on a regional economy?
In order to answer these questions, SWOSU Senior Research Analyst Fui Phang said one would require an accountable and systematic analysis of the economic impact of these scenarios. The most commonly used tool for studying them is known as the input-output model.
The REMI model economic impact study is available with a fee-based service. The model provides an economic impact analysis to answer any “what if…” questions, which allows users to determine the economic impact of a new or existing company, a policy change or tourism upon a region, for example.
The economic model is divided into six sub-state regions and then further divided into 70 industrial sectors. Phang said this means that the CEBD can modify industry-specific variables for economic impact scenarios that affect a limited number of industries. For every economic impact scenario, the model will outline the economic impacts upon each of the 70 sectors. The model includes economic impacts that not only capture direct effects of a scenario but also help to capture indirect as well as induced effects.
The versatility of the model allows the CEBD to model any types of policies that influence economic activities. Major areas of concentration of the studies include forecasting and planning, economic development, transportation, energy, natural resources, regional policy, environmental and taxation. Economic and policy changes can be reported in terms of their impact upon employment, income, output, consumption, population, economic migration, taxes, capital stock and hundreds of additional variables.
Some of the previous REMI studies conducted by the CEBD include the economic impacts of a community’s growth and its implications for an interstate exit; the economic impacts that an agricultural chemical industry would have upon the state of Oklahoma and western Oklahoma; and the economic impacts that a proposed international trade processing center would have upon the state of Oklahoma. With informed research to support final decisions, Phang said local businesses and economic policy makers can better respond to the needs of the local community.
For more information on how the REMI model works, contact the Center for Economic and Business Development at 580.774.7095 or visit www.swosu.edu/cebd.