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OESC Prepares Systems for New Relief Bill

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Continued Unemployment Claims Decline for the 37th Consecutive Week

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) is placing top priority on preparing for implementation of the new federal COVID-19 relief bill that President Biden is expected to sign. OESC also reports a decline in continued and initial unemployment claims, with the continued claims four-week moving average declining for the 37th consecutive week. 

The new federal COVID-19 relief package will extend the federal unemployment benefits available to Oklahomans, including extensions through Sept. 6, 2021 for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and for the $300 weekly benefit from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program. 

“After President Biden signs the new relief bill, OESC must receive detailed guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor (U.S. DOL) before we can begin distributing the extended benefits,” said Shelley Zumwalt, Executive Director of OESC. “Once we receive the U.S. DOL guidance, we will work as quickly as possible to implement changes needed to process claims and provide benefits to Oklahomans in need. We’ve already begun preparing our systems and staff members as much as possible and are laser focused on getting these new benefits out. We are continuing to monitor the situation at a federal level, and we will provide updates to claimants as we receive information.”

Weekly Unemployment Numbers for Week Ending March 6

  • For the week ending March 6, the advance number of initial claims, unadjusted, totaled 5,558, a decrease of 1,635 from the previous week's revised level of 7,193. 
  • Initial claims’ four-week moving average was 6,377, a decrease of 410 from the previous week's revised average of 6,787.
  • The advance unadjusted number of continued claims totaled 27,555, a decrease of 7,839 from the previous week’s revised level of 35,394.
  • Continued claims’ four-week moving average was 33,032, a decrease of 2,524 from the previous week's revised average of 35,556.

Nationally, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims during the same period was 712,000, a decrease of 42,000 from the previous week's revised level, the U.S. Department of Labor reports. The four-week moving average was 759,000, a decrease of 34,000 from the previous week. For the week ending Feb. 27, U.S. DOL reports the advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.9%, a decrease of 0.2% 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.

Updated Graphs for Week Ending Mar. 6

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