Record number of Oklahomans employed

Oklahoma jobs: State sets record for most employed Oklahomans, eclipsing mark set just as recession took hold in 2008.
BY DON MECOY dmecoy@opubco.com Modified: March 30, 2012 at 8:31 pm •  Published: March 30, 2012

Oklahoma employment hit an all-time high in February, eclipsing the previous peak number of employed Oklahomans set in March 2008, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission reported Friday.

“We have recovered all of the lost ground,” Commission Chief Economist Lynn Gray said, noting that the previous high was set as the recession took hold in early 2008.

Estimates show more than 1.68 million Oklahomans were employed in February.

Oklahoma's jobless rate dropped to 6 percent in February, a 0.1 percentage point improvement over January's figures, the commission said. Over the previous year, the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate also decreased by 0.1 percentage points.

The national unemployment rate remained at 8.3 percent for the month.

The biggest annual gains in jobs came in the energy sector, which saw a 17 percent increase by adding 8,200 jobs from February 2011 to February 2012.

Trey Cowan, senior market research analyst of Rigzone.com, said energy is playing a big role in Oklahoma's job market.

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