New jobless figures show once again that Oklahoma’s energy industry remains a vital part of the economy.
The State Employment Security Commission reports unemployment rates improved over the year for most counties in August. Rates were lower than a year ago in 62 of 77 counties, higher in ten and unchanged in five counties.
Of the four major metropolitan areas of the state, all reported a slight increase in unemployment from July to August 2017.
Oklahoma City’s jobless rate went from 4.1% in July to 4.3% or an increase of 1,174 in the jobless column. The energy industry, reflected in the Mining, Logging and Construction category saw total employment at 44,400 in August, down 300 workers from July. A year ago, the city reported 44,800 workers in the category.
Tulsa’s August employment went from 4.7% in July to 4.9% in August, still under the 5.4% reported in August 2016. The city’s energy employment totaled 29,300, a drop of 300 from July but still 200 more than in August of 2016.
Lawton’s unemployment rate rose from 4.6% in July to 5.0% for August. In August of last year, the city’s jobless rate was 4.8%. Its energy employment stood at 1,800 in August 2017,same as in July but a loss of 100 jobs from August 2016.
While much of Oklahoma’s oil and gas employment is busy in the STACK oil play, the three counties that make up the STACK had mixed results.
Blaine County saw an addition of 26 workers to reach total employment of 4,152 and its jobless rate went from 3.7% in July to 3.4% for August. Unemployment in August 2016 was 3.6%.
Canadian County’s total employment stands at 66,175 with 2,730 unemployed. The August jobless rate moved from 4.2% in August 2016 to 4.0% last month. July’s jobless rate was 3.8%.
Kingfisher County’s jobless rate rose by 10 to reach 281 with 8,116 employed. It means the August jobless rate stayed the same as in July which was 3.3%. A year ago, Kingfisher county’s unemployment rate was 3.4%