Oil and gas industry job losses increase Oklahoma’s jobless rate

With the loss of hundreds of oil and gas industry workers, Oklahoma’s jobless rate inched up slightly in November, reaching 3.4 percent. The new rate represented an increase of 0.10 percent from October 2019 and 0.3 percent from November of 2018, according to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.

At least 62,613 Oklahomans out of the state’s labor force of 1,851,204 were out of work in November while 1,788,591 were employed. Nationally, the November unemployment rate was 3.5 percent.

October 2019’s unemployment figures in Oklahoma totaled 60,794 and the rate was 3.3 percent, up a tenth of a percent from the jobless rate that had remained constant at 3.2 percent for June, July, August and September 2019.

The Commission’s Mining and Logging sector, made up largely of the oil and gas industry saw a loss of 1,100 workers from October 2019 to November 2019 or 2.1 percent. October 2019 employment totaled 51,700 while the number of workers in November 2019 was 50,600. The employment was down from 53,900 reported to be working in the industry in November 2018.

The loss of 3,300 oil and gas jobs since November 2018 was 6.1 percent. It was the highest percentage loss of all of the Employment Security Commission’s various sectors of employment.

What wasn’t included in the November jobless numbers was the impact of hundreds of Halliburton workers who lost their jobs when the company closed its operations in early December in El Reno, Oklahoma.

The Commission reported the state’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment dropped 4,000 jobs or 0.2 percent in November of this year. The statewide nonfarm employment fell a seasonally adjusted ,4300 jobs or 0.3 percent over the year.