State’s jobless rate declines

Monday, March 31, 2014

by Paul Monies and Brianna Bailey

The Oklahoman

Oklahoma’s unemployment rate fell to 5 percent in February — the state’s lowest unemployment rate in more than five years, according to data released Friday by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.

Unemployment in the state fell 0.2 percentage points to 5 percent in February, making it the state’s lowest unemployment rate since December 2008, said Lynn Gray, chief economist for commission.

Employment grew by more than 3,500 in February, according to household survey, while the establishment survey showed a decline of 4,100 jobs for the month. It’s typical for the two surveys to show contradictory results on a month-to-month basis, Gray said.

Some numbers from household survey data suggests some improvement in the number of long-term unemployed people in the state, but it’s difficult to tell from the raw numbers, Gray said.

“So it’s still too early to confirm the improvement for sure,” he said.

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