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Oklahoma City regains top spot for employment among large cities

Oklahoma City regained its standing as having the lowest unemployment rate among large U.S. cities, according to federal figures released Tuesday.
by Don Mecoy Published: April 11, 2012
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Oklahoma City regained the top spot for having the lowest unemployment rate among large U.S. cities in February, as parts of eastern Oklahoma registered the state's highest rate.

Oklahoma City's jobless rate dipped 0.1 percentage points to 5.8 percent in February, tying with the Washington, D.C., area for the lowest rate among cities with 1 million or more residents, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday.

In January, Oklahoma City ranked second to Washington, D.C., and although regularly among the leaders in recent months, has not ranked No. 1 since September.

“It's a reflection of the extraordinary times we're enjoying in Oklahoma City,” Mayor Mick Cornett said. “After a few months of second-place finishes, even if it's only been by tenths of points, it's good to be No. 1 again.”

Oklahoma City added 4,500 jobs from January to February, which included 3,000 jobs in the state government sector.

John Carpenter, spokesman for the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, said the growth in government jobs is a rebound from losses during the recession.

“I'm not sure exactly where those jobs are, but state government took a big hit in the recession, it dropped pretty well over the year,” Carpenter said.

Tulsa, which also saw its jobless rate drop 0.1 percentage points to 6.9 percent, added 4,600 jobs from January to February. The top jobs-producing sectors in Tulsa were government, manufacturing and professional and business services.

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by Don Mecoy
Business Editor
Business Editor Don Mecoy has covered business news for more than a decade after earlier working on The Oklahoman's city, state and metro news desks, including a stint as city editor. He has won state and regional journalism awards for business,...
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