Oklahoma’s jobless rates tumble and energy played its role

While some candidates were celebrating their election night victories, state leaders were excited over Oklahoma’s newest employment figures. The state’s energy industry can take some of the credit.

Every one of the 77 counties in the state reported lower unemployment rates for September, according to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. And all 77 county rates were lower compared to September 2017.

Latimer County in the southeast where Wilburton is the county seat still had the highest jobless rate at 5.1 percent. Nearby McIntosh was second at 4.7 percent.

The honors for the lowest rates went to Dewey, Grant and Love Counties with jobless rates of 1.7 percent. Taloga is the county seat in Dewey County. Medford is Grant County’s county seat while Marietta is the location of the Love County seat in southern Oklahoma.

As for the major oil and gas plays in the state, here’s how they stacked up.

The STACK’s three major counties are Blaine, Canadian and Kingfisher. Blaine County had the 4th lowest jobless rate in the state at 1.8 percent, down from the 2.5 percent reported a year earlier. Out of the county’s workforce of 4,450, at least 4,371 were employed, leaving only 79 out of work.

Canadian County’s September rate was 2.5 percent down from the 3.4 percent reported in September of last year. It ranked 20 on the list.

Kingfisher County had a 2.0 percent jobless rate for September compared to the 2.7 percent reported a year earlier.

Oklahoma’s SCOOP play and the oil and gas exploration there had an impact on the jobless rates. Six to seven counties make up the play.

Grady County’s jobless rate fell from 3.8 percent last year to 2.7 percent in September.

Caddo County went from 4.3 percent in September 2017 to 3.2 percent a year later.

In Garvin County, the jobless rate was 3.2 percent, down from 3.8 percent a year ago. McClain County had a 2.4 percent rate in September, down from 3.3 percent last September. Murray county’s rate went from 3.5 percent last September to 2.4 percent this September.

Stephens county dropped from 5.4 percent in September 2017 to 3.6 percent in September 2018.