OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As thousands of businesses continue to search for employees, Oklahoma City is experiencing one of the lowest rates of unemployment in recent memory.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics shows that Oklahoma City had a 1.9 percent unemployment rate in September.
Oklahoma City’s unemployment rate is the second lowest in the nation among large metropolitan areas. Salt Lake City, Utah, is lowest with a 1.7 percent unemployment rate, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
“This is the lowest number that we’ve really ever seen. We only have data back to 1990 and we have never been below 2% so it’s kind of unprecedented at least as far as we know,” said Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt.
Holt says that while the low unemployment rate is a great accomplishment, it also creates challenges for employers.
He says that while it may be confusing to see so many places hiring, that is actually consistent with a very low unemployment rate.
“Just kind of a basic economic principle; when everybody’s got a job, nobody is looking for a job. And so if you’re an employer trying to fill a job, you don’t really have anybody showing up because everybody’s got a job. Everybody’s happy already, so that’s why you see those signs around town. I get that sometimes that reaction from people who say, ‘How can we have low unemployment, I see all these help wanted signs?’ Well, actually those two things go hand in hand. When you have low unemployment, you have a lot of help wanted signs around the city. So I think for employers, it can create a challenge. But what I say to them, what I say to both our employers locally and to job creators who were pitching from around the country, I always say, ‘Look, we’re also one of the fastest growing cities in the United States,’ which is true,” said Holt.
Holt says that as the population of Oklahoma City grows, those jobs will be filled.