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OESC Encourages Claimants to Attend Its Virtual Career Fair

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Initial and Continued Claims Increase

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) reports an increase in initial and continued unemployment claims, with the initial claims’ four-week moving average declining and the continued claims’ four-week moving average increasing. The agency also encourages claimants to register and attend its virtual career fair. 

“Although we are continuing to see an increase in initial and continued claims, we are also seeing a pattern where the advance claims numbers surge each week only to be revised downward the next week,” said Shelley Zumwalt, OESC Executive Director. “It was announced earlier this week that the state will be ending federal unemployment benefits and providing a $1,200 return-to-work incentive for Oklahomans who find employment. At present, Oklahoma has 37% more job openings than before the pandemic and the most employment opportunities since data on job openings started being collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2001. Additionally, Oklahoma has more than 200,000 workforce-eligible individuals that are not currently participating in the workforce. OESC is hopeful that the governor’s $1,200 incentive, along with the employment resources the agency provides, will help Oklahoma in its economic recovery.”

OESC wrapped up its career fairs in Oklahoma City on Tuesday and the agency is continuing to host its virtual career fair throughout May. Claimants can register to attend at Additionally, OESC encourages claimants looking for work who need child care assistance to use the Oklahoma Department of Human Services’ (OKDHS) 60 days of subsidized child care by visiting

Weekly Unemployment Numbers for Week Ending May 15

  • For the week ending May 15, the advance number of initial claims, unadjusted, totaled  11,703, an increase of 2,228 from the previous week's revised level of 9,475. 
  • Initial claims’ four-week moving average was 12,381, a decrease of 1,263 from the previous week's revised average of 13,644.
  • The advance unadjusted number of continued claims totaled 29,847, an increase of 6,468 from the previous week’s revised level of 23,379.
  • Continued claims’ four-week moving average was 26,099, an increase of 176 from the previous week's revised average of 25,923.

Nationally, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims during the same period was  444,000, a decrease of 34,000 from the previous week's revised level, the U.S. Department of Labor reports. The four-week moving average was 504,750, a decrease of 30,500 from the previous week. For the week ending May 8, 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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