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Oklahoma jobless rate falls to 5 percent

Oklahoma's economy continued to create jobs last month, pushing the state's jobless rate down to 5 percent from 5.4 percent in March, according to figures issued Friday.
by Don Mecoy Published: May 19, 2012
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Oklahoma's economy continued to create jobs last month, pushing the state's jobless rate down to 5 percent from 5.4 percent in March, according to figures issued Friday.

“It's a strong report,” said Lynn Gray, chief economist of the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, which issued the numbers. “It shows that during the spring period, Oklahoma's economy has been adding quite a few jobs and putting unemployed people back to work.”

Oklahoma's seasonally adjusted employment in April rose to an all-time high of nearly 1.7 million people, an increase of 9,300 from the previous month, the commission reported. At the same time, the number of jobless Oklahomans fell by 7,800.

In April, the retail trade sector added 3,400 jobs.

Over the past year, the state has added 39,300 people to the ranks of the employed.

“Those surveys are showing employment moving in the right direction — in an upward direction,” Gray said. “It's good news.”

The unemployment rate fell in two-thirds of U.S. states last month, evidence that modest economic growth is boosting hiring in most areas of the country.

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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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