Continued Unemployment Claims Decline for the 18th Consecutive Week
OESC Works with Conduent to Eliminate Customer Service Fee
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) reports a decline in the initial and continued unemployment insurance benefit claims, and the four-week moving average for continued claims declines for the 18th consecutive week.
“It’s encouraging to see Oklahoma unemployment claims continue to decline,” said OESC Executive Director Shelley Zumwalt. “We’re continuing to make changes and work to eliminate barriers to Oklahomans seeking unemployment benefits. In fact, just last week, we worked with our debit card partner, Conduent, to help eliminate fees associated with the unemployment debit card.”
Conduent Eliminates Customer Service Fee
OESC has collaborated with Conduent to eliminate fees associated with the debit card program that claimants use to access their benefits. Effective today, Oct. 29, Conduent will remove the automated customer service balance inquiry fee for OESC debit card recipients.
“I am pleased to see this change from Conduent, which will help our claimants who continue to need help accessing their unemployment benefits,” Zumwalt said. “I’m grateful for the leadership from Senators Leewright, Hall and Boren during the senate interim study where they asked the right questions of Conduent’s representatives. Their goal, like mine, is to protect Oklahomans and get them the help they need in these difficult times.”
Cardholders are currently offered five free calls to automated customer service each month to check their balance with a fee of $0.25 applied per inquiry after the five free calls. Moving forward, this fee will be waived for all OESC claimants and no fee will be applied for customer service, live or automated, through the duration of Conduent’s service agreement with OESC.
“We have a unique partnership with OESC to deliver unemployment insurance disbursements through a prepaid payment card or Direct Deposit to Oklahoma Unemployment Insurance recipients,” said Paul Gates, general manager at Conduent. “In consideration of these unprecedented times, coupled with the historic rise in unemployment, the waiving of this fee allows Conduent to represent not only our commitment to our OESC partner but to the many Oklahomans who depend on the program.”
Weekly Unemployment Numbers for Week Ending Oct. 24
- For the week ending Oct. 24, the advance number of initial claims, unadjusted, totaled 4,591, a decrease of 686 from the previous week's revised level of 5,277.
- Initial claims’ four-week moving average was 5,295, a decrease of 167 from the previous week's revised average of 5,462.
- The advance unadjusted number of continued claims totaled 59,007, a decrease of 14,314 from the previous week’s revised level of 73,321.
- Continued claims’ four-week moving average was 75,709, a decrease of 9,727 from the previous week's revised average of 85,436.
Nationally, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims during the same period was 751,000, a decrease of 40,000 from the previous week's revised level, the U.S. Department of Labor reports. The four-week moving average was 787,750, a decrease of 24,500 from the previous week. For the week ending Oct. 17, DOL reports the advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 5.3%, a decrease of 0.5 percentage point from the previous week’s revised rate.
The national weekly seasonally adjusted initial claims report is one of 10 components in the Composite Index of Leading Economic Indicators. To smooth out the volatility in the weekly initial claims data, a four-week moving average is used to assess trends.