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Unemployment Claims Near Pre-Pandemic Levels

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Continued Claims' Four-Week Moving Average Declines for 11th Consecutive Week

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) reports that continued claims and both the initial and continued claims’ four-week moving averages declined for the week ending on Oct. 2, nearing pre-pandemic levels. Also for the week, the agency reports an increase in initial claims compared to the previous week. 

“While initial claims fluctuate some weekly, we are continuing to see a decline in the continued claims’ four-week moving average, which is a positive indicator for the overall health of our state’s economy,” said Shelley Zumwalt, OESC Executive Director. “Even as we near pre-pandemic unemployment numbers, OESC recognizes there are Oklahomans looking for employment. We offer a number of re-employment programs, including training, career fairs and resources, focused on connecting those looking for employment with employers and high-quality job opportunities. Our resources and programs can be accessed through our website or by visiting our workforce offices across the state.”

Weekly Unemployment Numbers for Week Ending Oct. 2

  • For the file week ending Oct. 2, the number of initial claims totaled 2,312, an increase of 222 from the previous week's level of 2,090. 
  • For the same file week, the less volatile initial claims four-week moving average was 2,502, a decrease of 92 from the previous week's average of 2,594.
  • The number of continued claims totaled 18,527, a decrease of 867 from the previous week’s level of 19,394.
  • Continued claims’ four-week moving average was 20,330, a decrease of 1,338 from the previous week's average of 21,668.

Nationally, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for the week ending Oct. 9 was 293,000, a decrease of 36,000 from the previous week's revised level, the U.S. Department of Labor (U.S. DOL) reports. The four-week moving average was 334,250, a decrease of 10,500 from the previous week’s revised average. For the week ending Oct. 2, the U.S. DOL reports the advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.9%, a decrease 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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