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Oklahoma jobless rate holds steady, remains well below national rate

Leisure and construction sectors created the most Oklahoma jobs in January; government jobs declined.
BY BRIANNA BAILEY Published: March 19, 2013

Oklahoma's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady in January at 5.1 percent, compared to 7.9 percent nationally, according to jobs data released Monday.

However, job growth in the state shrank slightly for the month.

Seasonally adjusted unemployment for the state fell slightly in January, shedding 760 unemployed Oklahomans, a 0.8 percent decrease for the month, according to data released Monday by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.

For the year, seasonally adjusted unemployment fell by 5,290 or 5.4 percent.

“The fact that unemployment held relatively steady could show that a lot of discouraged workers who were not out there applying for work are back in the job market,” said John Carpenter, state Employment Security Commission spokesman.

Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment in Oklahoma shrank by 3,700 jobs in January, a 0.2 percent decrease.

That marks the first decline in nonfarm employment in the state since August 2011, said Lynn Gray, chief economist for the Employment Security Commission.

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