The Oklahoma economy added 35,200 jobs in 2012, a 2.2 percent gain over the previous year, according to numbers released Friday by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.
Oklahoma's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in December dipped 1.2 percentage points from 6.3 percent a year ago.
The numbers show a significant improvement in job growth in the state — especially noteworthy considering continued sluggish jobs growth nationally, said John Carpenter, spokesman for the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.
“It's a significant improvement when you have unemployment down more than 19,000 people over the year when, nationally, we are dealing with a lot of long-term unemployment,” Carpenter said.
The seasonally adjusted jobless rate of 5.1 percent for December also was significantly lower than the national rate of 7.8 percent, he said.
Oklahoma ranked sixth in the nation for decreasing its unemployment rate in 2012. The numbers are especially good because the state economy also added a significant number of jobs for the year, said Deidre Myers, director of research, economic analysis and policy services for the Oklahoma Commerce Department.