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Oklahoma City unemployment rate rises in May

Oklahoma City’s metro area no longer has the lowest unemployment rate in the U.S.
by Brianna Bailey Modified: July 1, 2014 at 9:08 pm •  Published: July 2, 2014
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Oklahoma City’s unemployment inched up to 4.4 percent in May, from 3.8 percent the previous month, according to preliminary data released Tuesday by the U.S. Labor Department.

Oklahoma City’s metro area tied in April with Austin, Texas, for lowest unemployment rate in the nation for large metropolitan areas, but several cities passed Oklahoma City for lowest jobless rate in May.

Minneapolis-St. Paul had the lowest unemployment rate for the month at 4 percent, followed by Austin at 4.1 percent.

Out of the nation’s 49 largest metropolitan areas, the metro areas of Detroit; Providence, R.I., and Riverside, Calif., had the highest unemployment rates in May at 8 percent each.

Oklahoma City gained 3,600 jobs in May, a 0.6 percent increase, according to survey data from the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. The largest employment gains came from the leisure and hospitality sector, which added 1,200 over the month. Construction sector jobs saw the largest decline over the month in Oklahoma City, shedding 500 position, a 1.7 percent decrease.

Unemployment rates rose across all of Oklahoma’s 77 counties in May, according to data released Tuesday by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.

Three southeastern counties had the highest unemployment rates for May. Latimer County had the highest rate at 8.4 percent, followed by Sequoyah County with 7.9 percent and Le Flore County with 7.7 percent.

Three northwestern counties had the lowest jobless rates for the month. Dewey County had the lowest unemployment for the month at 2.3 percent, followed by Roger Mills County at 2.4 percent and Ellis County at 2.5 percent.

by Brianna Bailey
Business Writer
Brianna Bailey has lived in Idaho, Germany and Southern California, but Oklahoma is her adopted home. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and has worked at several newspapers in Oklahoma and Southern...
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