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Unemployment Claims Continue 2½ Month Decline

Thursday, September 03, 2020

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s economic recovery from COVID-19 continues to improve. The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission reports today that unemployment claims continued to decline for the week ending Aug. 29 – marking 10-straight weeks of fewer Oklahomans filing for benefits

Oklahoma’s four-week average declined for both initial claims and continued claims. Initial claims decreased to 5,125 for the week of Aug. 29, dropping 939 from the previous week’s revised level of 6,064.

Continued claims totaled 108,965, dropping by 13,548 from the previous week’s 122,513.

Additionally, as of Thursday, OESC has paid more than $2.9 billion total benefits and has processed more than 820,000 claims.

“I’m thrilled to see claim numbers declining for the 10th week in a row, and I certainly hope these rates continue to fall,” said Shelley Zumwalt, OESC executive director. “This trend is a good sign that the job gains we saw in July were not a fluke, and, even though we saw less job growth in August, the state’s economic outlook is steadily improving.”

Commission votes to name Zumwalt Executive Director

On Tuesday, OESC’s commissioners voted during their monthly meeting to confirm Zumwalt as the agency’s executive director. She was appointed as interim in May.

“I am thankful I can continue serving the people of Oklahoma and our claimants,” Zumwalt said.

“Getting to work with the OESC staff to implement innovative solutions and champion strategic projects that will improve the way our customers interact with the agency is an opportunity I am truly grateful for.”

Weekly Unemployment Numbers for Week Ending Aug. 29

Using the four-week moving average, both initial and continued claims have declined for 10 weeks in a row.

  • For the file week ending Aug. 29, the advance number of initial claims, unadjusted, totaled 5,125, a decrease of 939 from the previous week's revised level of 6,064.
  • For the same file week, the less volatile initial claims’ four-week moving average was 5,859, down 371 from the previous week's revised average of 6,230.
  • For the file week ending August 29, the advance unadjusted number of continued claims totaled
  • 108,965, down 13,548 from the previous week’s revised level of 122,513.
  • For the same file week, the less volatile continued claims four-week moving average was 121,189, down 3,539 from the previous week's revised average of 124,728.

Updated Graphs for Week Ending Aug. 29

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