Economic Opportunity

in the City of Tulsa

Economic Opportunity is reflective of how disadvantaged groups experience issues like poverty, career choices, and workplace advancement. When Tulsans face economic hardship, often their financial stability is negatively impacted. Intractable, long-standing circumstances make social equity and upward economic mobility difficult to achieve. Generational lag can develop and pass along the burden, further entrenching systemic poverty. Progress towards equality stalls when Economic Opportunity diminishes.

The Economic Opportunity theme explores inequalities by gender, geography, race, and education level.

The topics in the Economic Opportunity theme are Business Development, Employment, and Income.

You can see a snapshot of the indicators averaged in this theme in the chart to your right and then visit the sections below for more detail and additional findings.

Read our recent blogs about Economic Opportunity…

Business Development

The indicators in the Business Development topic are:
  • Gender & Business Executives
  • Geography & Sales Volume
  • Geography & Payday Loans
Business Development has an impact on both social and economic well-being. Gender equality in the workplace has many benefits, including access to leadership roles and lessened discrimination based on gender in relation to family obligations. Small businesses play an important role in the community by providing jobs and keeping money local. Finally, payday loans, often referred to as “predatory lending,” can have an influence on where, when and how much money is spent on other goods and services.

Look at the chart to your right for an overall picture of this topic, and then look at each indicator and the scores in context for more detail and additional findings.

Indicators within Business Development

  • Gender & Business Executives

    What is Measured?
    Ratio of male to female business executives in the city of Tulsa per 1,000 population of males and females

    What are the Results?
    Male executives 66.8; Female executives 36.6

    What is the Indicator-Level Ratio?
    1.823

    What is the Indicator-Level Score?
    48

    What Did We Find?
    Males tend to hold higher positions of power in our economy. In Tulsa, male executives (66.8) far exceed the number of female executives (36.6). Such a disparity between males and females in the work force has many economic effects.

    What Data Source(s) were Used?
    ReferenceUSA Database, Tulsa City-County Library, 12/17/17 & 1/12/18; U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2016 1-Year Estimates

  • Geography & Sales Volume

    What is Measured?
    Ratio of the numbers of businesses with sales revenues less than $10 million per 1,000 population in Midtown and North Tulsa

    What are the Results?
    Midtown 86.1; North Tulsa 22.6

    What is the Indicator-Level Ratio?
    3.811

    What is the Indicator-Level Score?
    28

    What Did We Find?
    Small businesses are important to the local economy for many reasons. However, there are large disparities across Tulsa in the distribution of small businesses. Midtown (86.2) has the most businesses with sales revenue less than $10 million per 1,000 population. North Tulsa (22.6) has about a quarter of that number of businesses of the same size, suggesting small businesses are not as supported in that area. South Tulsa has the second highest rate of small businesses (55.6) followed by East Tulsa (43.0) and West Tulsa (34.6).

    What Data Source(s) were Used?
    ReferenceUSA Database, Tulsa City-County Library, 12/17/17; U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2015 5-Year Estimates

  • Geography & Payday Loans

    What is Measured?
    Ratio of the rate of banks to payday lending establishments per 1,000 population in South Tulsa and North Tulsa

    What are the Results?
    South Tulsa 11.8; North Tulsa 1.5

    What is the Indicator-Level Ratio?
    7.867

    What is the Indicator-Level Score?
    9

    What Did We Find?
    Payday lending, often referred to as predatory lending, can be detrimental to the economic stability of individuals in poverty. In Tulsa, we found that South Tulsa (11.8) and Midtown (10.6) fare better than West Tulsa (4.0), East Tulsa (1.9), and North Tulsa (1.5) in rates of banks to payday loan establishments.

    What Data Source(s) were Used?
    ReferenceUSA Database, Tulsa City-County Library, 11/14/17 & 01/12/2018; U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2015 5-Year Estimates

Employment

The indicators in the Employment topic are:
  • Race & Unemployment
  • Geography & Existing Jobs
  • Geography & Labor Force Participation
While there are certainly racial disparities in the workforce, geography plays a large role, too. Labor force participation is a measure of both those who are employed and those who are unemployed but still seeking Employment, while unemployment is a measure only of those who are not working, but who are currently looking for work.

Look at the chart to your right for an overall picture of this topic, and then look at each indicator and the scores in context for more detail and additional findings.

Indicators within Employment

  • Race & Unemployment

    What is Measured?
    Ratio of Black to White unemployment rates per 1,000 population

    What are the Results?
    Black 81.2; White 34.3

    What is the Indicator-Level Ratio?
    2.37

    What is the Indicator-Level Score?
    38

    What Did We Find?
    Unemployed individuals are those who are in the labor force but are not currently working. Black Tulsans (81.2) are almost two and a half times more likely to be unemployed compared to White Tulsans (34.3). Asians (61.5) and Native Americans (60.6) also have unemployment rates that are nearly twice that of Whites. Hispanic / Latinos have a similar rate of unemployment to Whites (39.0).

    What Data Source(s) were Used?
    U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2016 1-Year Estimates

  • Geography & Existing Jobs

    What is Measured?
    Ratio of the numbers of existing jobs per 1,000 population in Midtown to North Tulsa

    What are the Results?
    Midtown 970.4; North Tulsa 330.1

    What is the Indicator-Level Ratio?
    2.94

    What is the Indicator-Level Score?
    34

    What Did We Find?
    Large disparities exist between North Tulsa and other parts of the city regarding the availability of existing jobs in relation to where people reside. There are nearly three times more jobs in Midtown (970.4) than in North Tulsa (330.1). East Tulsa has the second highest number of jobs per 1,000 residents (891.4) followed by South Tulsa (686.8) and West Tulsa (576.2).

    What Data Source(s) were Used?
    U.S. Census Bureau, Census OnTheMap, 2015, 2015 5-Year Estimates

  • Geography & Labor Force Participation

    What is Measured?
    Ratio of the labor force participation rates per 1,000 population in Midtown to North Tulsa

    What are the Results?
    Midtown 551.1; North Tulsa 422.4

    What is the Indicator-Level Ratio?
    1.305

    What is the Indicator-Level Score?
    70

    What Did We Find?
    Labor force participation is the sum of employed individuals and unemployed individuals (persons who are actively seeking employment). While many who are not in the labor force are either in school or retired, this population may also include people who have given up on finding work or who are unable to work due to disability, among other reasons. Midtown has the highest rate of individuals participating in the labor force (551.1) followed closely by South Tulsa (548.6) and East Tulsa (504.4). West (477.3) and North Tulsa (422.4) have the lowest labor force participation rates.

    What Data Source(s) were Used?
    U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2015 5-Year Estimates

Income

The indicators in the Income topic are:
  • Geography & Income At or Above Self-Sufficiency
  • Race & Median Household Income
  • Educational Attainment & Income
Income disparities were explored by location, race and educational attainment. In Tulsa, income at or above self-sufficiency is equal to about 200% of the federal poverty level. Many families below 200% poverty are reliant on public assistance to meet their needs. Education level also has an impact on financial stability for many.

Look at the chart to your right for an overall picture of this topic, and then look at each indicator and the scores in context for more detail and additional findings.

Indicators within Income

  • Geography & Income At or Above Self-Sufficiency

    What is Measured?
    Ratio of numbers of individuals at or above 200% of poverty per 1,000 population in South Tulsa to North Tulsa

    What are the Results?
    South Tulsa 715.0; North Tulsa 357.2

    What is the Indicator-Level Ratio?
    2.002

    What is the Indicator-Level Score?
    40

    What Did We Find?
    The federal poverty level is generated annually based on the number of individuals in a family and family income. Persons or households earning below 200% of poverty are considered “low-income” generally, but in Tulsa County, specifically, research on what income is required for self-sufficiency places that level at approximately 200% of poverty. Below 200% of poverty, households require some form of assistance to meet basic needs. North Tulsa has the lowest rate (357.2) of individuals at or above 200% of poverty – almost half the rate of South Tulsa (715.0). Midtown has the second highest rate (618.7) of individuals at or above 200% of poverty, followed by West Tulsa (570.2) and East Tulsa (495.9).

    What Data Source(s) were Used?
    U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2015 5-Year Estimates

  • Race & Median Household Income

    What is Measured?
    Ratio of Asian to Black median household income

    What are the Results?
    Asian $53,507; Black $28,399

    What is the Indicator-Level Ratio?
    1.884

    What is the Indicator-Level Score?
    45

    What Did We Find?
    Median household income includes the annual income of the householder and the income of all other working individuals in the household. The median household income for Asian households ($53,507) is almost two times higher than Black households ($28,399). Asian households are closely followed by White households ($51,053). Hispanic / Latino ($37,512) and Native American ($37,022) median household incomes are more than $10,000 lower than Whites and Asians.

    What Data Source(s) were Used?
    U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2016 1-Year Estimates

  • Educational Attainment & Income

    What is Measured?
    Ratio of rates of poverty for individuals with a high school diploma or less to rates of poverty for individuals with a college degree

    What are the Results?
    High school diploma or less 22.9%; College degree 9.5%

    What is the Indicator-Level Ratio?
    2.411

    What is the Indicator-Level Score?
    38

    What Did We Find?
    Individuals with low educational attainment face numerous barriers to employment and economic mobility, and therefore to earning a sufficient income. In Tulsa, the poverty rate for those with a high school diploma or less (22.9%) is over two times higher than the rate for those with a college degree (9.5%). Often lower rates of education directly correlate to higher levels of poverty.

    What Data Source(s) were Used?
    U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2016 1-Year Estimates