ARDMORE, OK - Ardmore, Oklahoma has a small town feel. But people are moving in at the rate of about three percent a year--a healthy pace, according to the Ardmore Development Authority.
CEO Wes Stucky says that's no small feat.
"To have a solid growth rate is really a great tribute to the citizens and to the community," Stucky said.
That's because citizens' investment in the area has given way to a growing economy.
A portion of sales tax goes to the development authority to create incentives for businesses to move in. And when businesses move in, people follow.
"I moved here to Ardmore in March," said Elsa Reyes. She moved here from San Diego for family ties, but also because finding work was easier.
"California has a shortage of employment, and when you go look for a job you're competing against maybe a hundred to two hundred people," she said.
But not in Ardmore. The rate of unemployment as of July is three point eight percent. That's one percent less than the state of Oklahoma and five percent less than the nation. And the weekly wages in Carter County have increased thirty five percent from 2002.
Stucky says this economic position is shielding Ardmore from the worst of the recession.
"Our susceptibility to have a downturn due to a national economy is lessened," he said.
But all those numbers aren't the only reason people are moving in. For some the way of life in Ardmore is a great fit.
"You can raise a family and live here minute-to-minute and not at a fast pace," said Reyes.
And sometimes, that's all you need.
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