OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the United States.

The state’s unemployment rate declined to 2.3 percent in December, the third lowest in the nation, according to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC).

The state’s unemployment rate has been on the decline in recent months, with a 2.7 percent rate in October and a 2.5 percent rate in November.

“This is great news for Oklahoma and marks the third consecutive month that we have hit a historic low unemployment rate in our state,” said Shelley Zumwalt, OESC Executive Director. “We also reached a historic high in terms of the number of people working in our state, with more than 1.8 million people in the workforce, an increase of more than 5,000 from November to December. Thanks to the focused efforts of our administration, state leaders and OESC, Oklahoma is one of the states leading the nation in its recovery from the economic impact of the pandemic.”

The state’s labor force rose to 60.4 percent in December, closing in on the 60.6 percent rate prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to OESC.

Several industries, including mining and logging, manufacturing, retail trade and leisure and hospitality industries, had approximately 2,000 job gains in December, according to OESC’s preliminary data. 

Oklahoman’s current unemployment is its lowest rate since the methodology for calculating unemployment was implemented in 1976.

“Historically low unemployment also means that many employers are still looking to fill open positions,” said Zumwalt. “For the past nine months, Oklahoma has had more than 100,000 open job positions. In November, there were more than 2.4 available jobs for every unemployed Oklahoman. At OESC, we are continuing to prioritize workforce development through our re-employment services and connecting those in need of jobs to open and high-quality opportunities.”

Nebraska has the lowest unemployment rate in the country, 1.7 percent, followed by Utah, 1.9 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.