State Unemployment Rate Rises to 4.9 Percent

In July, Oklahoma’s non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by two-tenths of a percent to 4.9 percent, its highest level since June 2005.

Statewide non-seasonally adjusted labor force and nonseasonally adjusted employment both contracted over the month, while non-seasonally adjusted unemployment added nearly 3,000 persons to its ranks. For the year, non-seasonally adjusted unemployment grew by nearly 25 percent, a much greater growth rate than those reported for non-seasonally adjusted labor force and employment.

Oklahoma employment dropped by more than 16,000 jobs over the month in July 2007, mostly due to seasonal education losses. This movement follows the trend seen each year at this time stretching back to 1981.

Over the year, Oklahoma’s total non-farm employment continued to expand with an addition of 24,600 jobs.

Aside from an over-the-month loss in Construction, all of the monthly loss came from the Service Providing Industries, led by Educational & Health Services and Government. Although many Oklahoma industries contributed to the over-the-year gains, Natural Resources & Mining and Government combined to provide more than 40 percent of July’s annual growth.

The Tulsa metropolitan statistical area reported a loss of 100 jobs over the month in July, contributed solely by the Service Providing Industries. total non-farm employment once again expanded over the year with an addition of 11,000 jobs.

As in June, monthly losses were driven by seasonal education factors, as public schools and universities started summer break.

Most Tulsa industries contributed to the over-the-year gain, with Trade, Transportation & Utilities and Government providing nearly three out of every five jobs added over the year. Information and Financial Activities were the only supersectors to report over-the-year losses in July.

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