Energy Job Losses Increase Oklahoma’s Jobless Rate

The most recent jobless figures released by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission clearly showed a loss of energy jobs in the past year. The State’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose 0.2 percentage point to reach 4.4 percent for March as the energy sector, defined in the Mining, Logging and Construction industry per state classifications, showed a loss of 11,300 jobs from March 2015 to March 2016. That’s a drop of 19.3 percent from year to year. Just from February to March of this year, the loss has been 600 jobs or a drop of 1.3 percent.

The state’s energy sector went from 58,600 jobs in March 2015 to 47,300 jobs in March of this year. In February 2016, the sector had 47,900 workers.

The government sector, during the same time period grew in the number of federal and local government jobs while the state government cut its workforce by 300 employees.

The overall government numbers grew by 2,300 from March 2015 to March 2016 in the state which represented growth of 0.7 percent. But the 300 state jobs were cut in February as the state dealt with the budget hole of more than $1 billion.

The breakdown shows the federal employment in Oklahoma grew by 800 from March 2015 to March of this year, making a total of 47,500 federal employees in the state.

The State government, but trimming 300 jobs went from 85,600 in March 2015 to 85,300 this year.

Local governments added 1,800 workers in the past year, moving from 217,600 in March 2015 to 219,400 in March of this year.


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