The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission is reporting that more than 32,000 Oklahoman's filed for unemployment benefits during the week ending May 23rd. This is a decrease of 1,300 applicants from the previous week. More than 480,000 unemployment claims have been filed across the state since the coronavirus pandemic began in March.
Data shows that more than 242,000 Oklahoman's were unemployed when the month of April came to an end. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate shows 13.7 percent of Oklahoman's in the workforce are unemployed. That is the highest rate since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking that number in 1976. The unemployment rate in Oklahoma is nearly a point lower than what it is nationally for the month of April.
The leisure and hospitality industry has been the most effected with more than 50,000 jobs lost since March. Jobs involving finance is the only sector that have added jobs since March.
Data shows that the labor force has also shrunk in April. The number of workers with a job or those looking for a job fell below 1.77 million for the first time since 2011. There are nearly 15,000 fraudulent claims being investigated as well.
Executive Director of the Oklahoma Unemployment Security Commission, Robin Roberson resigned last week. Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt had appointed Roberson to that position in February.
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