Oklahoma City once again held the lowest unemployment rate in the country among large cities with 4.1 percent in April, according to preliminary data released Wednesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The city's unemployment rate declined from 4.7 percent in March.
Oklahoma City has posted the lowest unemployment rate for large metropolitan areas for the past 13 months. The metro area also has had the lowest unemployment rate in the nation for 24 of the past 28 months, showing the strength of the local economy, said Eric Long, research economist for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber.
“It really speaks to the long-term trend of low unemployment we see in our region,” Long said.
Long noted that if Oklahoma City's unemployment continued to decline, a smaller labor pool could pose a problem for businesses looking to expand in the area. However, Oklahoma City's population is growing, which is positive for the city's workforce, he said.
“Population follows job growth,” Long said.
The jobless numbers released Wednesday show slightly stronger than average job growth for April, said Lynn Gray, chief economist for the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.
“It was a pretty stable, positive month.”
Statewide, unemployment for all 77 counties dropped in April, according to the commission.
Sequoyah County in southeast Oklahoma reported the highest unemployment in the state for the month at 8 percent. Roger Mills County in Western Oklahoma had lowest unemployment rate in April at 1.8 percent.
Oklahoma City's economy added 4,300 new jobs in April, an increase of 0.7 percent. That growth is sluggish compared to the 13,000 jobs Oklahoma City added in April 2012.
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