The unemployment rate in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area rose to 5.4 percent in June, moving it further from its former perch as the area with the lowest jobless rate.
Minneapolis held onto its position as the large metro area with the lowest unemployment rate, despite rising from 4.7 percent to 5.1 percent last month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday.
Oklahoma City had occupied that position for 13 consecutive months before losing out to Minneapolis in May.
Unemployment rates rose in nearly all large U.S. cities in June as college graduates and many of those still in school began searching for jobs.
The Labor Department said Tuesday that unemployment rates rose in 347 large metro areas in June compared with the previous month.
Unlike the national figures, the metro unemployment data are not adjusted for such seasonal changes. Many of the cities with significant rate increases have large universities where students graduated in June and began looking for work. And many university workers are temporarily unemployed in the summer when the academic year ends.
Nationally, the unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in June, down from 8.2 percent a year ago. Employers added 195,000 jobs last month. That's close to the average monthly gain in the first half of this year of 202,000. Hiring averaged only 180,000 a month in the previous six months.
In Oklahoma, unemployment rates for June were up in 75 of the state's 77 counties. Only Le Flore and Sequoyah counties avoided that trend, according to preliminary data from the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.
Roger Mills County had the state's lowest unemployment rate in June at 2.6 percent, while Latimer County was the highest at 9.2 percent.
Oklahoma County's rate was 5.6 percent, up from 5.2 percent in May.
CONTRIBUTING: The Associated Press