New figures released by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission and the U.S. Department of Labor show Oklahoma’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 5.3% in September, ranking ninth lowest in the country.
The September rate is an improvement from August’s 5.7% mark and below the national unemployment rate, which declined to 7.9%.
“Oklahoma continues to be months ahead of other states in our recovery from COVID-19,” said Governor Kevin Stitt. “This data shows how important it is to continue to protect our most vulnerable while also minimizing the other harmful effects of the pandemic. We remain committed to strengthening our state’s vibrant economy and job opportunities as Oklahomans continue to go back to work.”
In September, statewide seasonally adjusted employment increased by 51,724 persons (+3.0%), while unemployment decreased by 4,909 persons (-4.7%) from the previous month.
“Governor Stitt’s priorities of protecting the health and lives of Oklahomans while mitigating the impact of COVID-19 to our economy continue to pay dividends,” said OESC Executive Director Shelley Zumwalt. “Our state has leveraged federal CARES Act funds to support our businesses in innovative ways and Oklahomans continue returning to work to support their families. OESC will continue to provide support and reemployment services to those who have lost their jobs and are looking for their next career.”
Oklahoma currently has one of the lowest unemployment rates in comparison to surrounding states, including Texas, Arkansas and Kansas.
Surrounding States Unemployment Rates for September 2020 (National Rank):
Arkansas: 7.3% (T-30)
Colorado: 6.4% (T-22)
Kansas: 5.9% (13)
Missouri: 4.9% (6)
New Mexico: 9.4% (44)
Texas: 8.3% (39)