TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) -- A study estimates that the Cherokee Nation has a direct economic impact on the Oklahoma economy that's greater than $2 billion.
Economist Russell Evans conducted the study, which was commissioned by the tribe.
It found that direct or indirect employment by the Tahlequah-based tribe totals nearly 18,000 jobs in northeast Oklahoma alone. Those positions are estimated to support $785 million in salary and benefits.
The Cherokee Nation, which is one of the largest American Indian tribes in the country, operates more than two dozen businesses that have won more than $600 million in contracts.
Studies on the Cherokee Nation's economic impact have been conducted every two years since 2010.
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