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Initial and Continued Unemployment Claims Decline

Thursday, August 05, 2021

The Agency Continues to Encourage Eligible Claimants to Apply for Back to Work Initiative

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) reports a continued decline in both initial and continued claims, with both four-week moving averages declining. The agency also continues to prioritize reviewing Back-to-Work applications. 

“Seeing unemployment claims numbers continue to fall is a positive indicator that our state is making great strides economically,” said Shelley Zumwalt, OESC Executive Director. “We are making significant progress as a state in returning to pre-pandemic unemployment numbers, and we are trending in the right direction. The agency is also continuing to prioritize reviewing Back-to-Work Initiative applications and we have received around 4,000 applications from eligible individuals. We’re continuing to expect an increase in applications as the month progresses.”

OESC is reaching out to applicants that started the application process but did not finish or submit their applications. 

“The agency is focused on getting as many qualified applicants paid as possible,” said Zumwalt. “Those that began the application process can expect to receive communications from the agency. Please remember that the agency will not ask you to provide personal information through unsecure means like text, email, or phone.” 

Weekly Unemployment Numbers for Week Ending July 24

  • For the file week ending July 24, the number of initial claims totaled 3,723, a decrease of 671 from the previous week's level of 4,394. 
  • For the same file week, the less volatile initial claims four-week moving average was 5,669, a decrease of 1,377 from the previous week's average of 7,046.
  • The number of continued claims totaled 32,354, a decrease of 4,931 from the previous week’s level of 37,285.
  • Continued claims’ four-week moving average was 36,516, a decrease of 590 from the previous week's average of 37,106.

Nationally, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for the week ending July 31 was 385,000, a decrease of 14,000 from the previous week's revised level, the U.S. Department of Labor reports. The four-week moving average was 394,000, a decrease of 250 from the previous week’s revised average. For the week ending July 24, U.S. DOL reports the advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.1%, a decrease from the previous week's unrevised 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.

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