Continued Unemployment Claims Decline for the 35th Consecutive Week
OESC Decreases Claims in Adjudication to Less Than 10,000 cases
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) reports a decline in continued and initial unemployment claims, with the continued claims four-week moving average declining for the 35th consecutive week.
“The decline in both the continued and initial claims four-week moving averages for 35 weeks is a positive indicator of Oklahoma's continued recovery and commitment to reemployment for our citizens,” said Shelley Zumwalt, OESC Executive Director. “Many states have not seen this steady decline and our state is doing the work that needs to be done to support Oklahoma's economy."
OESC has worked tirelessly over the past several months to resolve the cases in the adjudication process. Since the start of the pandemic, OESC has experienced a significant increase in cases that have to be handled through adjudication, which is the required legal process for OESC to ensure the legitimacy and accuracy of a claim. Currently, OESC has less than 10,000 claims in adjudication and has decreased the resolution time for this process by more than 50%.
“A 50% decrease in the adjudication process timeline is a significant milestone, but we are not resting, and we will continue to improve this process for claimants,” said Zumwalt. “Throughout the pandemic, the agency has placed priority on streamlining any process where we see bottlenecks that impact claimants and work to make changes to expedite solutions as quickly as possible. This decline in the adjudication timeline is another example of the agency identifying an area that needed process improvements and acting quickly to make changes that yield quick and impactful changes for the claimant experience."
Weekly Unemployment Numbers for Week Ending Feb. 20
- For the week ending Feb. 20, the advance number of initial claims, unadjusted, totaled 4,768, a decrease of 2,006 from the previous week's revised level of 6,774.
- Initial claims’ four-week moving average was 6,603, a decrease of 371 from the previous week's revised average of 6,974.
- The advance unadjusted number of continued claims totaled 28,569, a decrease of 5,492 from the previous week’s revised level of 34,061.
- Continued claims’ four-week moving average was 34,161, a decrease of 2,427 from the previous week's revised average of 36,588.
Nationally, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims during the same period was 730,000, a decrease of 111,000 from the previous week's revised level, the U.S. Department of Labor reports. The four-week moving average was 807,750, a decrease of 20,500 from the previous week. For the week ending Feb. 13, DOL reports the advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.1%, a decrease of 0.1% 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.