Sept. 22, 2023

CONTACT: Sarah Dickson

OKLAHOMA CITY- The Oklahoma City Branch of the Federal Reserve of Kansas City released its latest issue of the quarterly publication the Oklahoma Economist, titled “Oklahoma’s Warehousing Boom: Spending Shocks and Their Implications for Workers.”

Warehousing grew substantially in Oklahoma over the past decade, especially in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. The industry’s employment more than doubled in the state since 2015, booming even more than the nation at the onset of the pandemic as consumers spent more on goods, according to Chad Wilkerson, senior vice president and branch executive at the Oklahoma City Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

“Elevated spending on durable goods early in the pandemic propelled an already fast-growing demand for warehousing space and employees, particularly in Oklahoma,” he said. “Oklahoma’s central location at the intersection of three interstate highways—I-35, I-40, and I-44—and its relatively low cost of land and buildings position the state as a natural distribution center in the country.”

Wilkerson said as the pandemic started to subside, consumer spending on experiences increased in 2022 while growth in durable goods held steady.

“As consumers began spending more time and money on experiences the past couple of years, demand for goods leveled off, and warehousing rents and employment gains in Oklahoma moderated,” he said. “While the warehousing sector enjoyed much growth in the state the past decade, the outlook for activity and employment in the industry is murky as automation and shifts in spending take hold in a post-pandemic economy.”

The complete issue is available at External

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City serves the Tenth Federal Reserve District, encompassing the western third of Missouri; all of Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Wyoming; and the northern half of New Mexico. As part of the nation’s central bank, the Bank participates in setting national monetary policy, supervising and regulating numerous commercial banks and bank holding companies, and providing financial services to depository institutions. More information is available online at External