Oklahoma’s December Jobless Rate Improves but Not Oil and Gas Sector

A slight improvement in Oklahoma’s unemployment rate for December 2017 was reported Tuesday by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. At the same time, they also reflected a slight drop in employment in Oklahoma’s energy sector.

The seasonally adjusted rate declined 0.1 percentage point to 4.1 percent in December while the U.S. jobless rate held steady at 4.1 percent for the month. Oklahoma’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 0.7 percentage point compared to December 2016.

Figures showed the state’s labor force totaled 1,847,899 and 1,771,895 were employed. The number of unemployed was 76,004 for December 2017.

The jobless rate has shown steady decline since December 2016 when the rate was 4.8 percent. The December rate proved to be the lowest for the entire year.

In the state’s Mining and Logging category where oil and gas workers are included, 47,800 were employed in December 2017 compared to 47,900 in November 2017. However, the December 2017 figure is still thousands higher than December 2016 when  the category showed 41,500 employed.

Thus, the loss of 100 workers from November to December represented a decline of 0.2 percent. But from  December 2016 to December 2017, the same category saw an increase of 6,300 workers or 15.2 percent.

The Mining and Logging industry also had the second highest job gain over the year. Construction led the way with the addition of 8,200 jobs. Education and Health Services had the third highest job gain with 5,500 jobs.

Those industries with large declines over the year were Trade, Transportation and Utilities where the drop totaled 5,100 jobs. Other Services lost 2,000 jobs.


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