Oklahoma jobless rate inches upward but employment remains higher over the year

For the first time in nearly three years, Oklahoma’s unemployment rate grew in January. The number employed in the state’s energy sector also slipped for the month.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate moved up 0.1 percentage point to 3.2 percent for the month, according to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. Nationally, the rate increased to 4.0 percent for January.

However, the state’s unemployment rate was down 0.7 percent compared to January of 2018. In terms of numbers of people, there are 58,903 Oklahomans who don’t have jobs while 1,775,914 are working. The state’s entire labor force is 1,834,817.

The state reported seasonally adjusted employment dropped by 3,957 people or 0.2 percent while the unemployment grew by 1,401 people or 2.4 percent. Still, over the past year from January to January, Oklahoma’s adjusted unemployment fell by 13,337 people or 18.5 percent.

Oil and Gas is considered in the state’s Mining and Logging classification. The state reported the number of jobs fell from 54,800 in December 2018 to 54,700 in January. But the numbers were still higher than January of 2018 when 51,000 were employed.

The drop of 100 employees in January translated to a 0.2% decline. But the increase from January 2018 to January of this year totaled 3,700 workers or 7.3% more.