Oklahoma’s unemployment rate remains one of the lowest in the United States

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Oklahoma’s unemployment rate – currently at 2.5% – has rebounded better than almost every other state since the pandemic, according to federal economists. (Photo by Alex Kotliarkyi via Unsplash)

Oklahoma’s unemployment rate – currently at 2.5% – has rebounded better than almost every other state since the pandemic, according to federal economists.

WalletHub ranked Oklahoma 3rd on its list of states with the most unemployment rates rebounding. The latest report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City also names Oklahoma as one of two states to overtake the rest of the region in its economic recovery.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics pointed out that Oklahoma was one of five states to set a new unemployment record in November 2021, with Nebraska at 1.8%, Utah at 2.1 %, Georgia at 2.8% and West Virginia at 4%. Only 18 states had unemployment rates lower than the US figure of 4.2%.

Oklahoma’s unemployment rate in November 2020 was 4.8%.

The WalletHub survey noted that Oklahoma’s current unemployment rate is 18.7% lower than in January 2020 and 18.6% lower than in November 2019, before the pandemic hit. Oklahoma ranked in the top four in several categories of WalletHub’s survey, for having one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state’s recovery since the pandemic, and for the rate at which the unemployment rate has improved over the past year.

“Seeing unemployment drop as Oklahoma has already fallen below pre-pandemic rates, shows the focus on workforce growth by the Stitt administration and OESC,” said Oklahoma Job Security Commission executive director Shelley Zumwalt in a statement on Friday.

Oklahoma’s unemployment rate in November 2021 was the third lowest rate in the country and the lowest in the state since the BLS began using the current method of measuring unemployment in 1976.

“Additionally, we are seeing hourly wage growth in the private sector that eclipses the past wages of the past 12 months,” Zumwalt said.

Oklahoma’s jobless count fell to 46,268 in November, marking the first month below 50,000 in more than 20 years and the lowest level since March 1980, OESC reported.

“As we celebrate record high unemployment, we also need to stay focused on expanding and training Oklahoma’s workforce to ensure businesses can hire and retain the employees they need. to keep our economy thriving, ”Governor Kevin Stitt said.

Federal Reserve data shows Oklahoma and Wyoming appear to have experienced lower levels of disruption due to the pandemic than other states.

“Oklahoma and Wyoming seem to be doing much better than the rest of the district,” reads a report by Steven Howland, assistant economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, which represents the 10th district in the Federal Reserve System. and includes Colorado, Kansas, western Missouri, Nebraska, northern New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Wyoming.

“It seemed to be related to each state’s situation in recovering its leisure and hospitality industry,” Howland wrote. “Oklahoma and Wyoming recovered the most jobs in recreation and hospitality (down 5% and 4% from January 2020, respectively). New Mexico and Missouri lag the most behind (both down 10% from January 2020).

A survey of nonprofits, financial institutions, government agencies and other community organizations in the 10th arrondissement found that COVID-19 is still a significant disruption to financial stability, small businesses, services for children and stable housing for most of the region.

“Oklahoma and Wyoming currently appear to be experiencing the least impact from COVID-19,” the report read. “New Mexico currently appears to be suffering the most impact from COVID-19. “

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