With Oklahoma’s latest rig count showing the oil and gas industry continues to remain strong, new employment figures are showing the same indication.
A report from the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission showed the industry, classified under Mining, showed another 500 jobs were added in August. The July estimate had also been revised down by 300 but the sector had a total gain of 4,200 jobs in the last 12 months.
However, the August unemployment rate increased to 4.5% while the total payroll for the state grew by 3,900. As for the number of jobless, the figure grew by 2,274 to reach 81,476.
“Employment was essentially unchanged in this survey and continued claims for unemployment insurance are down from the month prior,” stated the report. “A likely explanation for the increase in unemployment is that an increased level of optimism about current economic conditions is drawing individuals back into the labor force.”
As for the recession and recovery, the report indicated Oklahoma’s high payroll jobs mark was 1,674,800 in January 2015. Then the state saw a decline in employment of 28,100 jobs, down to 1,646,700 by June 2016.
Since then, the state has added 22,300 in the recovery to August 2017’s level of 1,669,000.
“If this estimate holds we would be only 5,800 jobs from a complete recovery by this measure,” added the report.
Mining added 500 jobs over-the-month. July’s estimate was revised down by 300. The sector has gained 4,200 jobs in the last 12 months.