Falling rig counts starting to impact Oklahoma’s jobless figures

The slowdown in rig activity in Oklahoma is apparently starting to be felt in some areas of the state when it comes to employment, according to the September figures from the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.

The Commission showed that oil and gas employment in Oklahoma City actually increased by 300 from August 2019 to September when a total of 21,800 were employed in the industry. But the September employment is 400 less than one year ago.

The increase from August 2019 to September 2019 was 1.4 percent while the drop from September 2018 was 1.8 percent.

Tulsa’s oil and gas employment remained unchanged from August to September at 7,300 which was 200 higher than a year ago.

Oil and gas employment in Lawton fell by 100 from August to September to reach 1,600 or a drop of 5.9 percent. The sector’s employment in September was also 100 less than a year ago or a drop of 5.9 percent.

Otherwise, the state agency said jobless rates moved up over the year for most counties in August. Jobless rates in September were higher than one year ago in 63 counties, lower in seven counties and unchanged in seven counties.

The highest jobless rate was 6.1 percent in Latimer County while the state’s lowest unemployment rate was 1.7 percent in Cimarron County.