Jobless rate falls for most of state
BY DEBBIE BLOSSOM Business Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
The jobless rate in all but three Oklahoma countries dropped in September, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission reported Tuesday.
The county rates followed a statewide 0.3 percent drop in unemployment last month, which put Oklahoma’s nonseasonally adjusted unemployment rate at 3.5 percent for September. A year ago, the state’s jobless rate was 4.1 percent.
Unemployment rates increased in LeFlore, Okmulgee and Sequoyah counties, the OESC said.
McCurtain County posted the highest jobless rate, 6.7 percent; Beaver County had the lowest rate at 1.7 percent. Sequoyah County posted the biggest percent gain in unemployment of 0.3 percent; Adair County saw a 0.8 percent dip and Alfalfa County saw a 0.9 percent drop.
In Oklahoma County, the rate dropped to 3.7 percent from 4.0 percent in August. Tulsa County’s rate decreased to 3.4 percent from August’s 3.6 percent.
Labor force expands
Statewide, Oklahoma’s nonseasonally adjusted labor force and employment both expanded in September, while nonseasonlly adjusted unemployment shed more than 4,700 jobs. Unemployment decreased by more than 8,500, and both the labor force and employment increased from the same period a year ago.
National unemployment was at 6.0 percent in September, with more than 154 million people unemployed, the OESC said. In Oklahoma, close to 62,000 people were without jobs last month.
In a seven-state area, Oklahoma’s jobless rate was the lowest, followed by a 3.8 percent rate in New Mexico. The highest rate was at 6.2 percent in Missouri.