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Old 11-30-2011, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Chandler, AZ
5,801 posts, read 5,986,806 times
Reputation: 3120

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Hi there,
I've lived my entire life (55+ years) in Los Angeles, and I'm seriously considering relocating somewhere and getting away from sky-high prices for real estate, gasoline ($3.65/gallon) and everything else out here.

Given the rock-bottom unemployment rates (4.5-6 percent per the BLS) in OKC, Norman & Edmond, is the competition for retail jobs as fierce as it is in booming industries there such as oil, gas & tech? Would it be a reasonable idea to line up a job with a major retailer (I've also been a security officer for several years, and have also worked for car rental companies and grocery stores) before I move, or should I move and then start looking?

Your cost of living is substantially lower (duh!) than LA's, which is another big plus.

I look forward to hearing from everybody, and I'd appreciate any tips and advice.
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Old 11-30-2011, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
26,147 posts, read 17,388,744 times
Reputation: 8045
For starters, don't consider the Prague area since there's been earthquakes, most mild, going on there for the last two years.
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Old 12-01-2011, 05:15 PM
 
Location: Both sides of the Red River
778 posts, read 2,144,243 times
Reputation: 1120
This thread is a bit quiet, so I will weigh in just based on my observations....

For the most part, yes the economy is holding up very well here. Its usually between OKC and Washington DC as to who has the lowest UE rates for metros with 1 million or more, and has been since the recession began. The more important thing is there are actually companies hiring and adding jobs. If you are doing anything oil and gas or aerospace related, you will be a kid in a candy store.

Now for the caveats. Yes the COL is low, but the wages are also a bit on the low side. In fact, outside the two industries I mentioned above they are probably some of the lowest I've seen. Some industries are doing better than others. For example, I would avoid construction for the mere fact that homebuilding, while not dead like in other places, is very slow right now nonetheless. Plus, several major projects (Devon Tower, Crosstown Fwy Reconstruction, CHK arena) will be wrapping up in the next 6-9 months and will dump a lot of carpenters, pipefitters, etc. on the market.

If you want to work retail, jobs are pretty easy to come by. I wouldn't say there's fierce competition, at least not yet. I've noticed a lot of people have moved in from surrounding areas/states, but I personally think a lot of people are freaked out by what they stereotype OK to be (crazy weather, wingnut politics, not a lot to do, etc.) so we are not "booming" but rather just nicely chugging along. I certainly won't complain. But like I mentioned earlier, you may be a bit surprised at the prevailing wage for what retail pays here.

My best advice: come out here with a few months of savings, get acquainted with the area, apply for jobs, and see if it grows on you. Hope this helps!
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Old 12-02-2011, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Edmond, OK
4,033 posts, read 9,985,871 times
Reputation: 4224
I think Soonerfan about sums it up. I don't honestly know how much luck you would have trying to find a job in something like retail if you don't already live here. Do not expect to make California wages here. Yes, the cost of living is much lower, but the odds are your wages will be lower as well.
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Old 12-02-2011, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Floyd County, IN
23,111 posts, read 40,197,975 times
Reputation: 15658
My sister works in Tulsa, OK and her career field pays very low wages compared to most every other state for a comparable position.
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