Oil and gas employment shows impact on Oklahoma’s jobless rates

A county-by-county breakdown of jobless rates in Oklahoma in January show unemployment was down in 64 of the state’s 77 counties.

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission reported rates were higher in 6 counties and were unchanged in 7 counties.

McIntosh County was highest at 6.9% while Cimarron County in the Panhandle was lowest with a 1.9% jobless rate. Love County in southern Oklahoma was second lowest at 2.0% unemployment followed by Dewey County at 2.1%.

Muskogee county’s was 4.4% while Comanche County, home to Fort Sill had a jobless rate of 4.2%. Garfield county where Enid is home to Vance Air Force base had a rate of 3.3%.

In the SCOOP and STACK plays were oil and gas drilling activity is highest, the rates ranged from 2.1% around Taloga in the northwest to 4.3% in Stephens county in the southern reaches of the SCOOP.

The oil and gas activity has an obvious impact on jobless rates, especially in those more active drilling areas. An invisible line seems to exist west of I-35 and north of Interstate 40. There, the STACK has more drilling activity and the counties in and around the shale play have lower jobless rates.

The SCOOP, while still active with new drilling has slightly lower jobless rates.

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