Economy of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Broken Arrow is located in northeastern Oklahoma, part of the Tulsa Metropolitan Area. With a population of over 108,000 residents, Broken Arrow has grown rapidly in recent decades thanks to its diversified economy.

Major industries in Broken Arrow include:

  • Aerospace & Defense
  • Healthcare & Biosciences
  • Energy
  • Distribution & Logistics
  • Advanced Manufacturing

The city has invested heavily in infrastructure, education, and quality of life offerings to attract and retain talent and businesses. This guide will provide an in-depth look at Broken Arrow’s economy.

Economy Of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Demographic and Labor Overview

Broken Arrow has an educated, skilled workforce available for employers. Over 93% of residents have a high school diploma and 35% have a bachelor’s degree or higher. The median household income is $77,500, above state and national averages.

The major occupational categories in Broken Arrow are:

  • Management, Business, Science and Arts (43.3%)
  • Sales and Office (22.6%)
  • Service (14.8%)
  • Natural Resources, Construction, Maintenance (11.1%)
  • Production and Transportation (8.3%)

Unemployment remains low at 2.7% as of November 2022. The largest employers in Broken Arrow include Ascension St. John Medical Center, Broken Arrow Public Schools, and Northeastern State University.

Recent Economic Development News

Several recent projects demonstrate Broken Arrow’s economic strength:

American Airlines Announces New $550 Million Maintenance Facility

The 1 million square foot airline maintenance facility will bring over 1,000 new aerospace engineering and maintenance jobs to Broken Arrow. Construction begins in 2023.

Origin Materials Breaks Ground on $125 Million Bio-Materials Plant

Origin Materials, a leading bio-materials company, is building a 50,000 ton per year plant to produce plant-based PET plastic. It will create 50 new jobs.

Roar Offshore Facility to Add Up to 300 New Jobs

Roar Offshore, an oil industry equipment manufacturer, opened a new production facility which will create up to 300 jobs over 5 years.

Aerospace & Defense

As home to over 120 aerospace companies, Broken Arrow has the highest concentration of aerospace jobs in Oklahoma. Major firms include Nordam, Boeing, and Anchor Industries. There are over 5,200 aerospace employees in Broken Arrow.

The new American Airlines maintenance facility will only expand this vital industry. Broken Arrow offers an attractive operating environment for aerospace with:

  • Skilled technical workforce
  • Excellent transportation infrastructure
  • Low costs
  • High quality of life

Major industry organizations such as the Tulsa Regional Aerospace Alliance and the Oklahoma Aerospace Commerce Economic Services also boost the industry cluster.

Aerospace Education and Workforce Pipeline

With aerospace demand rapidly growing, Broken Arrow has prioritized developing its future workforce pipeline:

  • Broken Arrow Public Schools has developed an acclaimed STEM education program focused on project-based learning.
  • The Northeastern State University Broken Arrow campus provides degrees including Engineering Physics, Software Development, and Technical Management tailored to the industry.
  • CareerTech and other institutions offer additional certifications.

This will ensure Broken Arrow employers have a steady supply of skilled, homegrown talent.

Healthcare & Biosciences

As home to Ascension St. John Medical Center and a growing biosciences industry, healthcare is a major sector for Broken Arrow. Major regional medical providers have located clinics and other facilities as the population has expanded.

With two institutes of higher education providing healthcare training and research, Broken Arrow has the workforce and facilities to accommodate future growth. The new Origin Materials plant also demonstrates potential in industrial biotechnology and life sciences.

Ascension St. John Broken Arrow

The cornerstone of Broken Arrow healthcare is Ascension St. John. The hospital has 373 licensed beds along with specialty facilities including heart care, stroke treatment, and women’s health. It is the city’s largest private employer.

Plans were recently unveiled for a $100 million expansion including new operating rooms, intensive care capacity, and medical office space. This will cement St. John Broken Arrow’s position as the leading regional medical provider for years to come.

Energy Sector Strength

Oklahoma has a long history as an energy production powerhouse. Broken Arrow’s location adjacent to Tulsa and strong transportation infrastructure has attracted energy companies to locate key facilities.

Major firms with a Broken Arrow presence include ONEOK, Magellan Midstream Partners LP, Energy Transfer LP, and more. There are over 500 energy sector employees in Broken Arrow.

In particular, Broken Arrow has strengths in oil and gas transportation and storage, hydrocarbon processing, and energy sector equipment manufacturing. The Roar Offshore announcement demonstrates Broken Arrow’s potential as an expanding hub for oil and gas manufacturing.

Energy Education and Training Infrastructure

Broken Arrow’s educational partners provide specialized training related to the energy industry:

  • Tulsa Tech’s Broken Arrow campus provides certifications like Oil & Gas Production Technology to help develop the future energy workforce.
  • Northeastern State University offers majors in fields like Industrial & Engineering Technology and Energy Management.
  • National energy associations provide training at the Broken Arrow Conference Center.

Distribution & Logistics Strengths

With immediate access to the Muskogee Turnpike and located near the intersections of Interstates 44 and 55, Broken Arrow is a prime distribution hub for the region. This has attracted major distribution operations.

Warehousing operations over 1 million square feet operate in Broken Arrow by companies including Mercury Gate, Dollar General, Flowserve, and more. Retail giants like Wal-Mart also operate major local distribution capabilities.

Broken Arrow’s strategic location and transportation infrastructure make it an prime option as e-commerce expansion leads retailers to add more distribution locations. Quality of life, low costs, and availability of labor also benefit the industry.

Logistics Education Programs Develop Workforce

Meeting logistics employer demand is supported through specialized higher education programs at Northeastern State University Broken Arrow, including majors like Logistics & Supply Chain Management and Organizational Leadership. These degree options are complemented by vocational training programs at institutions like Tulsa Tech.

Advanced Manufacturing

Although manufacturing employment has declined nationally, Broken Arrow has maintained a strong foothold thanks to its diversified industrial base. Over 5,100 local employees work in durable and non-durable goods manufacturing.

The city’s skilled workforce, low costs, and logistics access make it attractive for production operations. Recent major investments by companies like American Airlines, Origin Materials, Roar Offshore and existing employers demonstrate Broken Arrow’s potential for future advanced manufacturing leadership.

Northeastern State Broken Arrow offers degree programs aligned with industrial needs like Engineering Technology while institutions like Tulsa Tech provide career & technical training to develop the future manufacturing workforce.

Select Major Manufacturers

Some of the major advanced manufacturers with Broken Arrow operations:


The largest aerospace manufacturer in Oklahoma, Nordam provides airline customers with aircraft engine components, interiors, and more. They are expanding research and production capabilities in Broken Arrow.

Anchor Industries

Anchor Industries manufacturers high tolerance parts primarily for aerospace including wings, rotor blades and airframe components. Its Broken Arrow facility opened in 2019.

Baker Hughes

The industrial giant produces a range of oil drilling equipment and technology at its Broken Arrow facility to support energy production.

Local Incentives

Broken Arrow offers some incentives to support manufacturers. Key options include:

  • Tax increment financing (TIF) agreements to support public infrastructure serving job creating developments.
  • Tax exemptions for manufacturers making substantial capital improvements.
  • Workforce training assistance through CareerTech and other partners.

Retail Strength

Retail is another pillar of Broken Arrow’s economy, driven by population and income growth. The city has attracted numerous new restaurants, stores, and entertainment options to serve residents.

Major recent retail developments include:

  • The Rose District, offering a Main Street-style experience with local eateries and shops.
  • Bass Pro Shops constructed a 150,000 square foot store and aquarium attraction, drawing tourists as well as serving residents.
  • Several new shopping centers catering to essentials like groceries as well as discretionary spending.

The retail industry directly employs around 7,500 Broken Arrow residents. Julius Centoni Consulting ranked Broken Arrow 28th among mid-sized cities for retail occupancy rates in 2022, indicating an ability to attract and retain tenants.

Population and income growth should allow Broken Arrow to continue expanding its retail offerings in coming years.

Economic Development Organizations Support Industry

Broken Arrow’s industries receive major support from aligned economic development groups that provide resources, connect companies, develop workforces, and market the region globally.

Broken Arrow Economic Development Corporation

The Broken Arrow Economic Development Corporation is the primary organization responsible for business attraction, retention and expansion. Services offered include:

Site Selection Assistance

The BAEDC helps companies identify appropriate real estate and incentives during the site selection process. Their data and knowledge help maneuver uncertainty and make deals happen faster.

Workforce Analysis

Detailed analysis of labor availability, wages, demographics, and training resources is provided to demonstrate Broken Arrow’s talent strengths.

Incentives Consultation

Companies receive guidance on local, state, and federal incentives, taxes, programs and infrastructure developments that reduce costs.

Project Management and Oversight

For companies expanding or locating in Broken Arrow, the BAEDC serves as a project manager working across stakeholders to ensure progress.

Tulsa Regional Chamber

The Tulsa Regional Chamber provides economic development leadership for the broader region. Their consultation helps Broken Arrow leverage the full strength of Northeast Oklahoma’s industry clusters, resources, and global connections.

Oklahoma Governor’s Economic Development Team

Broken Arrow receives extensive support from the Oklahoma state government economic development professionals as well. State-level team members help recruit companies globally by marketing Broken Arrow’s advantages.

Financial incentives like the Quality Jobs Program, workforce training funds, and infrastructure support are also facilitated to help offset locating costs.

Leading Employers Anchoring the Local Economy

While Broken Arrow continues pursuing growth in aerospace, biosciences, and emerging sectors, the city’s economic foundation relies on major stable employers across sectors like education, industrials, healthcare and retail. Below are the top local employers:

1. Ascension St. John Broken Arrow

The regional medical center and its related clinics employ over 2,200 people in Broken Arrow, making it the single largest employer. Its planned hospital expansion will drive further job gains over time.

2. Broken Arrow Public Schools

Over 2,000 teachers, administrators, coaches, facilities staff, nutritional workers, transportation providers, and other personnel deliver education services to Broken Arrow students.

3. Wal-Mart Stores & Distribution Center

Between retail store employees and distribution center order fulfillment staff, Wal-Mart employs over 1,700 Broken Arrow residents. Additional transportation and logistics firms support Wal-Mart operations.

4. Northeastern State University

The Broken Arrow campus employs over 600 higher education professionals as administrators, professors, and staff across business, education, optometry, science, arts and humanities disciplines.

5. Mercury Gate International

The logistics technology leader has a Broken Arrow office employing over 500 software developers, customer support, marketing, finance and other personnel.

Commercial Real Estate Availability to Support Business

Broken Arrow maintains a range of commercial real estate options suitable for office, industrial, retail, and other business uses.

Walkable downtown storefronts, small office spaces convenient to neighborhoods, sprawling warehouses, and large corporate campuses are all available.

Office Space

Over 4.3 million square feet of multi-tenant and single occupant office inventory exists across Broken Arrow. Class A spaces with the latest amenities are abundantly available.

Office vacancy rates are around 5%, quite low historically. This indicates demand exceeds supply for quality office locations as more firms seek to locate in Broken Arrow. However, multiple planned business park projects should replenish availability.

Class A net rent averages about $15 per square foot across single and multi-tenant offices. Broken Arrow compares very favorably to central Tulsa ($23/SF) and other competing suburban cities for office value. Strategic locations near highways or executive neighborhoods with abundant parking attract premium pricing.

New Office Developments Underway

Over 800,000 square feet of office across multiple business parks are in various stages of planning or construction. These will provide increased opportunities for employers. Major developments include:

  • Creason Farms: A 160 acre mixed-use project adjacent to the Creek Turnpike planning over 700,000 SF of premium office space. 30 acres are pre-permitted for construction allowing companies to build-to-suit. Retail, medical office, multifamily residential, and hospitality space round out the development.
  • Stonewood Village: Located along OK-51, phase 1 delivered 60,000 SF of office inventory in late 2022. Future phases call for at least 150,000 SF of additional office buildings. Restaurants and retail serve the business park.

Industrial Space

With around 10 million square feet of warehouse, production, and flex space in Broken Arrow, options exist for manufacturers, distributors, transportation companies and all industrial uses. sustained 3% vacancy rates indicate high demand.

Asking lease rates average under $4.50 per square foot across industrial assets – highly affordable compared to national averages near $9/SF.

A shortage of sites with appropriate zoning and infrastructure exists as developers struggle to keep pace with company needs. However, the city maintains a portfolio of pad-ready sites in prime logistics locations to support quick facilities deployment and has several business parks in the planning stages.

Transportation access is a major strength for Broken Arrow’s industrial market. Two interstates, rail infrastructure, and proximate air and barge options provide multilane logistics capabilities. A robust talent pool familiar with warehousing, manufacturing and energy operations anchors the workforce.

Retail Space

From small shopfronts in unique neighborhoods to regional shopping malls and big box centers, Broken Arrow provides abundant retail. Nearly 8 million total square feet exists across over 1,200 businesses.

While internet competition has stagnated some retail categories nationally, continued population and income increases locally sustain stable 3-5% vacancy rates and average rents around $15 per square foot. No shortage of retail locations exists though some desired trade areas fill quickly.

Multiple new shopping centers have recently opened or are planned, expanding options for retailers seeking Broken Arrow locations. The city strategically monitors consumer trends and market conditions, working to facilitate developments meeting emerging resident needs.

Local Incentives Encourage Development

Broken Arrow maintains a portfolio of programs offering financial benefits, expedited approvals, and other advantages to catalyze real estate investment:

Tax Increment Financing (TIF)

Developers can utilize tax increment financing to access bond funding for making public infrastructure improvements supporting company locations. As properties appreciate, the additional property taxes repay bonds.

Sales Tax Exemptions

Savings between 2-5% on construction materials for new facilities are available. Companies investing substantially in facilities expansion may qualify.

Permitting Priority

Priority application processing and assignment of dedicated staff contacts helps accelerate construction timelines for projects bringing jobs and taxes to the city.

Business Cost Advantages

A variety of cost factors make Broken Arrow highly attractive for business investment compared to many competing markets nationally.

Tax Climate

Oklahoma maintains business friendly tax policies including:

  • No corporate income tax for manufacturers
  • 4% corporate income tax rate for non-manufacturers
  • 5% flat individual income tax rate
  • Low sales & property taxes

This combination makes Oklahoma the 6th most tax friendly state for new investments (Tax Foundation). Broken Arrow maintains average city and county property/sales taxes for the state.

Various local incentives described in other sections provide additional tax savings potential.

Real Estate Costs

As described in the commercial real estate section, Broken Arrow delivers office and industrial space at lease rates 30-60% below comparable major metros. Build-to-suit construction and land acquisition costs are also very competitive.

Labor Costs

Average wages in Broken Arrow align with state averages significantly below coastal metros for industries like aerospace, manufacturing, logistics and energy. Adjusted for cost of living, compensation packages go further.

State and local programs also help offset employer workforce costs through avenues like skills training reimbursements.

Transportation Access Provides Supply Chain Savings

For goods producers and distributors, Broken Arrow transportation connectivity PAYS supply chain dividends through:

  • Lower raw material procurement costs
  • Reduced outbound shipping fees
  • Faster delivery times

Interstate, rail, maritime, and air freight access drive multi-modal efficiencies.

Energy Cost Advantages

Located where much of the nation’s energy production occurs, industrial electricity rates in Broken Arrow average 20-40% below other regions at under $0.07 / KWH (EIA). Low natural gas prices similarly benefit operational budgets.

Quality of Life Attractions for Business and Workers

While cost savings and other quantitative factors drive location selection, Broken Arrow’s quality of life offerings help attract talent and encourage them to stay over time.

Neighborhoods and Housing

Affordable neighborhoods for all income levels exist. Housing prices average just over $200 per square foot – in line with overall Oklahoma prices significantly below coastal markets ($500+ per square foot). Cost of living is 7% below national baseline.

New planned developments are expanding high end offerings as Broken Arrow grows. Established neighborhoods provide stability for long term residents.

82% of households are owner occupied in mostly single family residences. Multi family apartments are growing as the city expands housing diversity. Public schools maintain strong academic performance ratings regionally.

Outdoor Recreation and Events

Broken Arrow delivers small town charm with a robust park system, trails, recreational sites, and community events.

The Broken Arrow Community Playhouse provides live theatre while the annual Rose District festivals draw crowds for arts, culture and music.

Recreational sites like the Broken Arrow Community Center, Nienhuis Park and Family Aquatic Center provideOptions for fitness, sports, and leisure activities year round.

Higher Education Anchors the Community

Higher education helps Broken Arrow employers access skilled talent while providing cultural richness. Students and faculty also contribute economic impact.

The flagships are Northeastern State University and Tulsa Community College, educating both regional learners and out-of-state students while conducting valuable research.

Northeastern State University – Broken Arrow

NSU offers bachelor’s and graduate degrees tailored to Broken Arrow’s industry strengths including:

  • Engineering Physics
  • Organizational Leadership


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  • Take Highway 75 South from Tulsa towards Broken Arrow. After about 15 miles, take the OK-51 E exit towards Broken Arrow. Merge onto OK-51 E and drive for approximately 5 miles. Turn right onto S Elm Pl and continue for 0.2 miles. Turn left onto E 73rd St S. The destination will be on your right after about 0.3 miles.
  • From downtown Tulsa, head east on E 11th St towards S 129th E Ave for around 5 miles. Turn right to merge onto US-64 E/E 51st St S and continue for roughly 10 miles. Take the OK-51 E ramp on the left towards Broken Arrow. After about 5 miles, turn right onto S Elm Pl, then left onto E 73rd St S. 22902 E 73rd St S will be on the right after 0.3 miles.
  • Take the Creek Turnpike heading south from Tulsa. After around 15 miles, take exit 27A for OK-51 E towards Broken Arrow. Stay straight on OK-51 E for approximately 4.5 miles then turn right onto S Elm Pl. Make a left turn onto E 73rd St S and go 0.3 miles. The destination 22902 E 73rd St S will be on the right.