Oklahoma’s unemployment rate fell to 5 percent in February — the state’s lowest unemployment rate in more than five years, according to data released Friday by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.
Unemployment in the state fell 0.2 percentage points to 5 percent in February, making it the state’s lowest unemployment rate since December 2008, said Lynn Gray, chief economist for commission.
Employment grew by more than 3,500 in February, according to household survey, while the establishment survey showed a decline of 4,100 jobs for the month. It’s typical for the two surveys to show contradictory results on a month-to-month basis, Gray said.
Some numbers from household survey data suggests some improvement in the number of long-term unemployed people in the state, but it’s difficult to tell from the raw numbers, Gray said.
“So it’s still too early to confirm the improvement for sure,” he said.
The state’s economy contracted by 4,100 jobs in February, led by 2,400 job losses in the professional and business services sector, according to the establishment survey. Large gains were seen in the government sector in February, with 2,400 new positions.
Oklahoma continued to have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation in February. North Dakota had the lowest unemployment rate for the month at 2.9 percent. The highest unemployment rate in the nation was Rhode Island at 9 percent.
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