Oklahoma City jobless rate best among large cities for the 11th straight month

Oklahoma City's February unemployment rate of 4.9 percent was improved from the 5.4 percent recorded in January.
BY DON MECOY dmecoy@opubco.com Modified: April 10, 2013 at 7:34 pm •  Published: April 10, 2013
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Oklahoma City's 4.9 percent jobless rate in February was the lowest among large U.S. cities for the 11th straight month.

The city's unemployment rate declined from January's 5.2 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Austin, Texas, area, with a rate of 5.4 percent, ranked just behind Oklahoma City among metro areas of 1 million or more in February, the agency said.

The Oklahoma City area added 5,600 jobs in February with the biggest gain coming in the government sector, which added 3,600 jobs, according to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.

Tulsa's unemployment rate in February was 5.6 percent, and Lawton's jobless rate was 6.6 percent, the bureau reported.

Unemployment rates fell in more than 80 percent of large U.S. cities in February from January, suggesting that strong hiring that month benefited the vast majority of the country.

The Labor Department says rates fell in 311 of the nation's 372 largest metro areas. They rose in 45 and were unchanged in 16.

Fewer jobs added

Nationwide, employers added 268,000 jobs in February, the most in a year. That pushed down the unemployment rate to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent. But hiring slowed sharply last month, when employers added only 88,000 jobs.

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