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OESC Reports Decrease in Initial and Continued Unemployment Claims

Thursday, June 03, 2021

The Agency Continues Plans for June In-person and Virtual Career Fairs

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) reports decreases in initial and continued unemployment claims, with the initial and continued claims’ four-week moving average declining. The agency also continues its plan to host career fairs later this June. 

“Last week, the agency reported an increase in both initial and continued claims for the week ending May 22,” said Shelley Zumwalt, OESC Executive Director. “However, those numbers have been revised and the agency is seeing that both the revised initial and continued claims numbers have decreased. Additionally, the agency is shifting its method of reporting claims numbers to ensure we accurately report the status of unemployment in Oklahoma.”

Moving forward, the agency will move away from reporting unemployment estimates and will report adjusted numbers instead. This change will mean the following: 

  • Weekly numbers will continue to be reported by OESC
  • Numbers will be for two weeks prior to the current date and will not include estimates for the previous week
  • This change will help ensure unemployment numbers are reported accurately

Due to a reporting discrepancy, the numbers reported by the U.S. Department of Labor (U.S. DOL) may not be consistent with the number OESC reported. However, OESC has provided updated information to the U.S. DOL so they can update their data.

June Career Fairs

This month, OESC plans to host two career fairs in Oklahoma as federal unemployment benefits come to an end. The agency will host its Tulsa career fair on June 23 and the Oklahoma City career fair on June 25. 

“We are hopeful that claimants will find many employment opportunities at these career fairs, and I encourage claimants looking for employment to take these additional opportunities and attend the career fairs,” said Zumwalt. “We will have thousands of open positions available from a multitude of industries, and now is the best time to get back to work and take advantage of the $1,200 Return-to-Work Incentive.”

Claimants can also register for OESC’s virtual career fair. Individuals who are looking for other resources while job searching can visit OESC’s website at https://oklahoma.gov/oesc. Additionally, claimants looking for work who need child care assistance are encouraged to use the Oklahoma Department of Human Services’ (OKDHS) 60 days of subsidized child care by visiting https://okdhslive.org/

Weekly Unemployment Numbers for Week Ending May 22

  • For the file week ending May 22, the number of initial claims totaled 8,360, a decrease of 284 from the previous week's level of 8,644. 
  • Initial claims’ four-week moving average was 9,364 a decrease of 2,252 from the previous week's average of 11,616.
  • The number of continued claims totaled 18,202, a decrease of 2,057 from the previous week’s level of 20,259.
  • Continued claims’ four-week moving average was 21,743, a decrease of 1,959 from the previous week's average of 23,702.

Nationally, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for the week ending May 29 was 385,000, a decrease of 20,000 from the previous week's revised level, the U.S. Department of Labor reports. The four-week moving average was 428,000, a decrease of 30,500 from the previous week’s revised average. For the week ending May 22, U.S. DOL reports the advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.7%, an increase of 0.1 percentage point 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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