Oklahoma jobless rate falls to 4.7 percent

A 0.1 percentage point decline in Oklahoma's unemployment rate in June means the rate has fallen 1.4 percent this year.
by Don Mecoy Modified: July 20, 2012 at 8:16 pm •  Published: July 20, 2012

Oklahoma was one of just 11 states in which the unemployment rate fell in June, but the state's job growth is slowing, the chief economist of the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission said Friday.

The state's jobless rate declined 0.1 percentage point last month as the number of employed Oklahomans again reached a new high.

But the levels of growth in the numbers of Oklahomans employed and the reduction in the numbers of jobless state residents are slowing, economist Lynn Gray said.

“The unemployment rate dipped a tenth once you rounded,” Gray said. “It really was almost no change in terms of the actual unemployment rate if you carry it out a couple of digits.”

Oklahoma's employment rate was 4.7 percent in June, and has fallen 1.4 percentage points this year. The national unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in June.

Oklahoma's jobless rate ranks behind only North Dakota's 2.9 percent; Nebraska, 3.8 percent; and South Dakota, 4.3 percent. Vermont also recorded a 4.7 percent rate.

“Certainly, we're doing a lot better than most of the nation,” Gray said. “But I think we are seeing at least a few months here where employment is slowing.”

The number of employed Oklahomans rose 3,200 in June to reach an all-time high of 1.709 million, according to seasonally adjusted figures from the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. Unemployed Oklahomans totaled 84,980, a decline of 340 from May, the agency said.

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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