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Oklahoma’s Unemployment Rate Falls to 4%

Thursday, June 24, 2021

OESC Hosts Career Fair at Oklahoma City Convention Center

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) reports that Oklahoma’s unemployment rate fell to 4% in May 2021. The agency also reports an increase in initial and continued claims’ four-week moving averages, with continued claims declining. 

“We are pleased to report that the unemployment rate for Oklahoma fell to 4.0% for May 2021, which is below the national unemployment rate and ranks our state 12th nationally,” said Shelley Zumwalt, OESC Executive Director. “We are making great strides here in Oklahoma, but pre-pandemic in February of 2020 the state’s unemployment rate was at 3.1%. This indicates there is still room for improvement in helping people rejoin the state workforce. The agency is continuing to focus on our re-employment efforts to boost the state workforce, especially as federal benefits come to an end effective June 27. We are hopeful that we will continue to see positive movement in unemployment as Oklahomans return to work.”

Effective June 27, all federal unemployment benefits, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), will come to an end. In an effort to help individuals as they return to work, the agency hosted a career fair at the Tulsa Expo Square - River Spirit Expo. On Friday, June 25, OESC will host an additional career fair at the Oklahoma City Convention Center where job seekers and employers will have an opportunity to connect.

Individuals who filed for unemployment between May 2-15 and who work two part-time jobs or one full-time job of 32 hours or more per week for six consecutive weeks are eligible for the governor’s return-to-work incentive. The application for the incentive will open to the public on June 28, 2021.

Weekly Unemployment Numbers for Week Ending June 12

  • For the file week ending June 12, the number of initial claims totaled 10,614, an increase of 1,680 from the previous week's level of 8,934.
  • For the same file week, the less volatile initial claims 4-week moving average was 10,158, an increase of 493 from the previous week's average of 9,665.
  • The number of continued claims totaled 35,665, a decrease of 132 from the previous week’s level of 35,797.
  • Continued claims’ four-week moving average was 34,404 an increase of 353 from the previous week's average of 34,051.

Nationally, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for the week ending June 19 was 411,000, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week's revised level, the U.S. Department of Labor reports. The four-week moving average was 397,750, an increase of 1,500 from the previous week’s unrevised average. For the week ending June 12, U.S. DOL reports the advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.4%, a decrease 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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