OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma has one of the best unemployment rates in the country, according to state and federal figures.
Both figures from the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) and U.S. Department of Labor show the state’s seasonally adjusted employment rate dropped to 3.7 percent in June, the eighth lowest in the nation, according to a news release from Gov. Kevin Stitt’s office.
Oklahoma’s June unemployment rate was an improvement over May’s 3.9 percent rate and below the 5.9 percent national unemployment rate for June.
“I am proud to see Oklahoma as a Top Ten state with one of the lowest unemployment rates in our nation,” said Governor Kevin Stitt. “It’s encouraging to see our state’s unemployment rate and job numbers nearing pre-pandemic levels, and that is a testament to our decision to keep business open and our Return to Work initiative to incentivize Oklahomans to rejoin the workforce.”
Oklahoma employers added 7,600 paying jobs in June, bringing the number of workers in the state to 1,634,500. There were 69,543 unemployed Oklahomans in June.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a massive rise in unemployment in Oklahoma. There were 1,701,700 Oklahomans working paying jobs in February 2020, a month before the pandemic began.
The unemployment rate spiked to over well over 13 percent in April 2020, a month after the pandemic hit Oklahoma. The following graph from the OESC website shows the sudden rise and gradual decline in unemployment:
“Oklahoma is continuing to make economic progress, and the agency is focused on continuing to foster economic recovery through our re-employment services, including the career fairs we hosted in May and June, and through distributing the governor’s $1,200 Return to Work initiative payments,” said Shelley Zumwalt, OESC Executive Director. “We are excited to see Oklahomans rejoining the workforce and will continue to connect job seekers with employment opportunities available across our state.”
Nebraska has the lowest unemployment rate at 2.5 percent. Go to www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm to see each state’s unemployment rate.