Oklahoma’s jobless rate nearly cut in half from May


While Oklahoma’s jobless rate tumbled from nearly 13% in May to 6.6% last month, the biggest job loss in June was still in—-you guessed it—the oil and gas sector.

An estimated 2,100 jobs were lost in June in the Mining and Logging classification used by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission which released figures this week.  But the numbers lost from a year earlier are staggering.

Oil and Gas jobs fall under Mining and Logging and according to the June employment numbers, the number of jobs fell from 49,900 in June 2019 to 34,400 in June 2020.

Oklahoma’s May 2020 oil and gas jobs totaled 36,500. The drop totaled 2,100 or 5.8% from May to June while the numbers plunged 15,500 or 31.1% from year to year.

The state agency said no other employment sectors reported any job gains over the year in June. Still, Oklahoma’s June jobless rate of 6.6% is nearly half of the U.S. unemployment rate of 11.1% for the month. The June unemployment was a marked improvement over the 12.6% jobless rate in May and far below the 14.7% reported in April.

Oklahoma’s jobless rate had been at 2.9% in March prior to the start of the pandemic and soared to the nearly 15% by April.

In terms of people who hold jobs, Oklahoma has a labor force of 1,765,773 and 1,649,171 of them are employed, leaving at least 116,602 without jobs. Nationally, an estimated 17,750,000 were unemployed in June while 142,182,000 out of the labor force of 159,932,000 were employed.

A casual view of the employment list in Oklahoma shows negative numbers in nearly every sector over the past year with two exceptions—Finance and Insurance and Federal Government. Both sectors reported 1% gains since June 2019.

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