Rachael Van Horn
Woodward, Okla. —
In a recent study conducted by consumer awareness firm NerdWallet, Woodward County ranked No. 2 among best places to find a job and buy a home Oklahoma, according to the study analyst, Annie Wang.
NerdWallett is a Sacramento, Calif., based firm that helps consumers by proving up-to-date research into personal finance and matters that affect the wallet. The research is aimed at helping keep the personal finance industry more transparent, Wang said.
The firm includes in their studies such information as where people can find jobs, but also includes other details about how the net impact of a decision to move somewhere just for a job, might mean for a consumer.
In its recent study, Wang said Woodward consistently performed better than all but one other county, Beckham County, in available jobs as well as the availability of affordable housing, Wang said.
“Compared to median household income of other counties Woodward fared really well,” Wang said. “But then we included housing cost. So it had really low monthly homeowner costs which told us that workers are going to make a good living but also not get gouged by the cost of housing there.”
Finally, when all the other indicators were included, Woodward’s unemployment ranking nudged it past almost all other counties in Oklahoma as a desirable place to settle, she said.
“When we looked at unemployment, which was 2.7 percent, well Woodward knocked it out of the park,” Wang said.
With the recent growth of jobs and population in Woodward, there has also been a slow but steady growth of more and diverse activities here, said Woodward City Manager Alan Riffel. He believes the area will continue to provide more and better employment opportunities while maintaining its homespun warmth.
“How much better confirmation can you get about the perspective we already have about our town, then to have an independent firm determine independently that we are right in our opinion,” Riffel said. “I think people who come and live in Woodward, understand that it is just not jobs and housing that make Woodward special, but the quality of life that makes it special here.” For more information about the study go to http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/2013/best-places-oklahoma-job-seekers/