Energy industry growth results in drop in jobless numbers in Oklahoma

While the latest Oklahoma Energy Index suggested a mini-boom for oil and gas in the state, the latest jobless rates released by the state show unemployment fell over the year for all counties in Oklahoma in August.

So goes the energy industry—so goes the state’s employment rates.

The Employment Security Commission said every one of the 77 counties showed improvement with rates ranging from a low of 1.8% in Grant County to a high of 6.1% in Latimer County.

The northern city of Medford is the county seat for Grant County while Wilburton is the county seat for Latimer County in eastern Oklahoma.

Oklahoma City’s jobless rate dropped 0.7 percent to hit 3.2 percent for August. The energy industry, included in the Mining, Logging and Construction sector showed an August workforce of 52,700 which was an increase of 300 from July 2018 and a jump of 4,400 from August 2017.

The year-to-year jump represented an increase of 9.1% while the increase from July to August was 0.6% according to the Employment Security Commission.

Lawton’s energy sector loss 100 jobs from July to August when the count hit 1,800. It was a decline of 5.3% from month to month. The 1,800 employed in August was the same number for August 2017.

In Tulsa, the jobless rate fell from 3.6% in July to 3.5% in August. The city’s energy sector saw an increase of 100 in employment from July to August when the numbers reached 30,500. Compared to August 2017, this year’s August employment in Tulsa was up 700 or 2.4%.