Economic Opportunity

in the City of Tulsa

Economic Opportunity examines inequity in such areas as income, employment, and workplace advancement. Intractable, long-standing economic hardship can make upward economic mobility difficult to achieve. Generational poverty can develop and pass along the burden, further entrenching financial insecurity. Progress towards equality stalls when economic opportunity declines. The Economic Opportunity theme analyzes inequalities by gender, geography, race, and educational attainment.

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

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

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 business development means greater parity in access to leadership roles and economic advancement. 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,” tend to create a cycle of dependency and limit opportunities for accumulation of wealth. 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 rates of male to female business executives per 1,000 population

    What are the Results?
    Male executives: 72.1 | Female executives: 39.6

    What is the Indicator-Level Ratio?
    | Ratio: 1.819

    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 far exceed the number of female executives. Such a disparity between males and females in the work force has many economic effects.

    What Data Source(s) were Used?
    ReferenceUSA, U.S. Businesses Database, 2017 & 2018; U.S. Census Bureau, 2016 & 2017 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates

  • Geography & Sales Volume

    What is Measured?
    Ratio of rates of businesses with sales revenues less than $10 million in midtown and north Tulsa per 1,000 population

    What are the Results?
    Midtown Tulsa: 85.2 | North Tulsa: 22.3

    What is the Indicator-Level Ratio?
    3.821

    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 has the most businesses with sales revenue less than $10 million per 1,000 population. North Tulsa 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 followed by East Tulsa and West Tulsa.

    What Data Source(s) were Used?
    eferenceUSA, U.S. Businesses Database, 2017 & 2018; U.S. Census Bureau, 2016 & 2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

  • Geography & Payday Loans

    What is Measured?
    Ratio of rates of banks to payday lending establishments per 1,000 population
    in south to north Tulsa

    What are the Results?
    South Tulsa: 11.0 | North Tulsa: 1.5

    What is the Indicator-Level Ratio?
    7.333

    What is the Indicator-Level Score?
    11

    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 and Midtown fare better than West Tulsa, East Tulsa, and North Tulsa in rates of banks to payday loan establishments.

    What Data Source(s) were Used?
    ReferenceUSA, U.S. Businesses Database, 2017 & 2018; U.S. Census Bureau, 2016 & 2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Employment

The indicators in the Employment topic are:
  • Race & Unemployment
  • Geography & Existing Jobs
  • Geography & Labor Force Participation
While racial disparities certainly persist in the workforce, geography plays a large role, too. Geography reflects a demographic expression of the racial and wealth distribution of housing patterns. The unemployed population includes those who are not currently working but are actively seeking work.  Labor force participation includes both the employed and unemployed. 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

    What are the Results?
    Black: 12.4%; White: 5.6%

    What is the Indicator-Level Ratio?
    2.214

    What is the Indicator-Level Score?
    39

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

    What Data Source(s) were Used?
    U.S. Census Bureau, 2016 & 2017 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates

  • Geography & Existing Jobs

    What is Measured?
    Ratio of rates of existing jobs in midtown to north Tulsa per 1,000 population

    What are the Results?
    Midtown Tulsa: 979.8; North Tulsa: 332.6

    What is the Indicator-Level Ratio?
    2.946

    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 than in North Tulsa. East Tulsa has the second highest number of jobs per 1,000 residents followed by South Tulsa and West Tulsa.

    What Data Source(s) were Used?
    U.S. Census Bureau, LEHD Origin-Destination Employment Statistics, 2002-2015, https://onthemap.ces.census.gov, LODES 7.3; U.S. Census Bureau, 2016 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

    Note
    The U.S. Census Bureau did not release an update to this data source this year, so the same results are reported for both report years. Annual updates are expected for subsequent reports.

  • Geography & Labor Force Participation

    What is Measured?
    Ratio of labor force participation rates in midtown to north Tulsa per 1,000 population

    What are the Results?
    Midtown Tulsa: 66.5%; North Tulsa: 58.2%

    What is the Indicator-Level Ratio?
    1.143

    What is the Indicator-Level Score?
    78

    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 followed closely by South Tulsa and East Tulsa. West and North Tulsa have the lowest labor force participation rates.

    What Data Source(s) were Used?
    U.S. Census Bureau, 2016 & 2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Income

The indicators in the Income topic are:
  • Geography & Self-sufficiency
  • Race & Median Household Income
  • Educational Attainment & Income
In Tulsa, a self-sufficient level of income is estimated at roughly 200% of the federal poverty level based on CSC’s research. Many families living below 200% of poverty depend on public assistance to help meet their needs. Educational attainment can have a significant impact on employability and household financial stability. 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 & Self-sufficiency

    What is Measured?
    Ratio of percentages of individuals with incomes at or above 200% of poverty in south to north Tulsa

    What are the Results?
    South Tulsa: 72.7%; North Tulsa: 37.9%

    What is the Indicator-Level Ratio?
    1.918

    What is the Indicator-Level Score?
    44

    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 of individuals at or above 200% of poverty – almost half the rate of South Tulsa. Midtown has the second highest rate of individuals at or above 200% of poverty, followed by West Tulsa and East Tulsa.

    What Data Source(s) were Used?
    U.S. Census Bureau, 2016 & 2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

  • Race & Median Household Income

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

    What are the Results?
    White: $51,744; Black: $30,902

    What is the Indicator-Level Ratio?
    1.674

    What is the Indicator-Level Score?
    54

    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, 2016 & 2017 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates

    Note
    The least disadvantaged comparison group from the 2018 report, Asian, was revised to White because the relatively small sample size for the Asian population produced a very high margin of error and great inconsistency from one year to the next.

  • Educational Attainment & Income

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

    What are the Results?
    High school diploma or less: 23.3%; College degree: 5.0%

    What is the Indicator-Level Ratio?
    4.660

    What is the Indicator-Level Score?
    23

    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, 2016 & 2017 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates