Oklahoma Q1, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 111,322 employers, up 1.1% from 110,090
  • 1,609,257 employees, up 1.3% from 1,588,236
  • $953 average weekly wage, up 4.3% from $914
  • The average weekly wage is 19.5% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 11.9% below the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 1,232, which is an increase of 1.1%. The number of employees in Oklahoma increased by 21,020, an increase of 1.3%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $39, an increase of 4.3%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 1,127 or 1.1%. Growth in private businesses in Oklahoma grew slower than the national average of 3.0%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 16,603 or 1.3%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Oklahoma was slower than the national average of 1.7%.

The average weekly wage of employees of private businesses increased since last years' Q1. The averge weekly wage increased by $38 or 4.1%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in Oklahoma grew faster than the national average of 3.0%.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Retail trade with 11.8% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector increased by 0.3%. Professional services (11.6%), which increased by 3.9% and Healthcare (11.4%), which increased by 0.5%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Information704.8%
Professional services4853.9%
Educational services313.4%
Arts and entertainment343.1%
Real estate and rental1253.0%
Transport and warehousing822.8%
Mining and oil extraction762.2%
Company management111.8%
Agriculture and forestry161.8%
Utilities81.7%
Finance and insurance1161.6%
Manufacturing641.5%
Accommodation and food services881.1%
Healthcare570.5%
Retail trade370.3%
Wholesale trade210.3%
Construction-61-0.6%
Other services-55-0.8%
Waste services-78-1.0%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 12.1% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 0.6% in the last year. Retail trade (10.8%), decreased by 1.3% and Accommodation and food services (9.5%), increased by 1.4%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Transport and warehousing2,9406.0%
Construction3,8975.1%
Arts and entertainment7354.7%
Company management8414.4%
Manufacturing5,2893.9%
Professional services2,6053.6%
Real estate and rental5072.5%
Utilities1701.6%
Accommodation and food services2,0611.4%
Mining and oil extraction6391.3%
Other services3781.1%
Wholesale trade6021.0%
Educational services1040.6%
Healthcare1,0860.6%
Waste services3260.3%
Finance and insurance-204-0.4%
Retail trade-2,378-1.3%
Information-325-1.6%
Agriculture and forestry-2,668-24.6%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Utilities paying $3,458per week compared with the state average of $969. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $921 or 36.3%. Company management ($2,471), rose by $653 or 35.9% and Mining and oil extraction ($2,333) declined by $173 or 6.9% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Utilities$92136.3%
Company management$65335.9%
Information$1139.7%
Arts and entertainment$417.1%
Professional services$766.2%
Other services$284.3%
Educational services$304.1%
Real estate and rental$323.9%
Waste services$243.4%
Finance and insurance$443.3%
Construction$323.3%
Wholesale trade$383.2%
Accommodation and food services$82.6%
Manufacturing$292.5%
Retail trade$132.4%
Healthcare$161.9%
Transport and warehousing$100.9%
Mining and oil extraction$-173-6.9%
Agriculture and forestry$-62-8.2%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In Oklahoma. the industry with the most businesses is Restaurants and other eating places with 5.7% of the businesses in the state (with 6,330 employing 128,562 workers). The Restaurants and other eating places industry had 65 more businesses, an increase of 1.0% in the last year. Offices of physicians (2.3% of businesses) had 10 fewer businesses, a decline of 0.4% and Offices of lawyers (2.2% of businesses) had 27 fewer businesses, a decline of 1.1% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Paint and wallpaper stores16177.8%
Forging and stamping457.1%
Testing laboratories4957.0%
Adhesive manufacturing250.0%
Other credit intermediation activities6142.7%
Translation and interpretation services535.7%
Packaged frozen food merchant wholesalers433.3%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Computer systems design and related services1377.4%
All other miscellaneous store retailers13121.4%
Management consulting services1176.2%
Services for the elderly and disabled996.1%
Support activities for mining743.5%
Offices of real estate agents and brokers726.2%
Geophysical surveying and mapping services6614.6%


Employees by Industry

Offices of physicians (2.3% of employees) had 10 fewer employees, a decline of 0.4% and Offices of lawyers (2.2% ofemployees) had 27 fewer employees, a decline of 1.1% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Other publishers273572.2%
Direct mail advertising532557.9%
Translation and interpretation services74268.9%
Paint and wallpaper stores93212.3%
Tortilla manufacturing29114.6%
Resin and synthetic rubber manufacturing13179.4%
Marketing research and public opinion polling7060.2%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Support activities for mining2,5558.4%
Animal slaughtering and processing2,38528.6%
Restaurants and other eating places1,7161.4%
Temporary help services1,1595.2%
General warehousing and storage9968.7%
Commercial building construction92012.1%
Electrical and wiring contractors8818.1%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

Offices of physicians ($2) and Offices of lawyers ($2) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Offices of physicians ($2 per week) were paid $10 less per week, a decline of 0.4% and Offices of lawyers ($2 per week) were paid $27 less per week, a decline of 1.1% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Plywood and engineered wood product mfg.$54878.4%
Business and secretarial schools$35363.9%
Natural gas distribution$1,91451.2%
All other information services$41047.8%
Luggage and leather goods stores$15646.8%
Sporting goods merchant wholesalers$44840.9%
Adhesive manufacturing$38638.9%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Natural gas distribution$1,91451.2%
Management of companies and enterprises$65335.9%
Natural gas extraction$60016.3%
Electric power generation$56325.1%
Plywood and engineered wood product mfg.$54878.4%
Sporting goods merchant wholesalers$44840.9%
All other information services$41047.8%


Company Size

Oklahoma Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in Oklahoma by far. 59.3% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 101,002 small businesses in the state represent 95.7% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.9%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) Oklahoma added 1,127 businesses in the last year, an increase of 1.1% as compared to the national average of 3.0%.

Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 1,014 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 1.0% as compared to the national average of 3.1%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. These mid-sized businesses added 101 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 2.4% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. These large businesses added 12 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 9.5% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



Oklahoma Employees by Business Size

Oklahoma added 49,810 employees in the last year, an increase of 4.1% as compared to the national average of 5.2%. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 7,735 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 8.3% as compared to the national average of 4.2%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. Mid-sized businesses added 15,625 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 3.2% as compared to the national average of 4.7%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. Large businesses added 26,450 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 21.5% as compared to the national average of 9.2%.

Oklahoma Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

Oklahoma workers in every size business are paid less than the national average. The smallest companies in Oklahoma (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 12.4% less than the national average ($894 per week as compared to the national average of $1,005 per week). The largest companies in Oklahoma (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 14.1% workers below the national average ($1,676 per week as compared to the national average of $1,913 per week).

Average weekly wages in small businesses added $94 per week in the last year, which is an increase of 3.0% as compared to the national average of 3.1%. Employees of mid-sized businesses added $119 in wages per week in the last year, which is an increase of 4.0% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Employees of large businesses added $213 of weekly wages in the last year, which is an increase of 7.5% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



Data Sources




About the Writer

This page was created and is maintained by Kurt Tietjen, Founder of Stavera, High Peak Media & HomeGearWorks.com. Kurt is an executive, data scientist and software engineer who holds an MBA in Management Information Systems. In 2010, he partnered with scientists at Northwestern University to launch The Street Wire. This was one of the first mainstream uses of what would become “Narrative Science”, an artificial intelligence platform specializing in natural language generation. You can contact Kurt on LinkedIn here.