Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Unemployment Increases in All State Metro Areas

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Unemployment Increases in All State Metro Areas

Article excerpt

Managing Editor

Unemployment increased in February from January statewide and in all four metropolitan areas.

Unemployment for the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Statistical Area was 6 percent for February, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission reported Wednesday.

The area jobless rate was up from 5.9 percent for January. The Oklahoma City area labor force for February totaled 507,900, with employment of 477,400 and unemployment at 30,500, the commission said.

Unemployment also increased statewide in February from January and for the Tulsa, Enid and Lawton metropolitan areas.

February represented the second month the commission has used a new labor force model. Comparative figures for the revised, seasonally adjusted data were not provided for months prior to January.

Statewide unemployment for the month was 7.5 percent, compared with 7.2 percent for January. The rate for the state was higher than the 7.1 percent nationwide for February.

Year-to-year variations were largely attributed by the commission to the modifications, which make annual comparisons less uniform, initiated in January. The modifications were in the Current Population Survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and used in statistical models by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission to assess numbers of employment and unemployed in Oklahoma.

The state's labor force totaled 1,560,300 for February with 1,443,100 individuals employed and 117,200 unemployed. The state labor force was down by 700 people from 1,561,000 for January but up 53,200 people from 1,507,100 from February 1993, the commission said.

There were 6,200 fewer Oklahomans employed in February than in January's revised employment of 1,449,300, as well as a corresponding monthly increase in unemployment of 5,500 people, the commission said.

Twenty of the state's 77 counties had unemployment rates of 9.9 percent or more and 43 counties had a rate higher than the national unemployment rate for February of 7.1 percent.

The three counties with the highest unemployment rates for the month were Haskell with 19.5 percent, Hughes with 19.4 percent and Latimer with 18.7 percent. All three counties are in the southeast quadrant of the state.

Two counties had unemployment rates for the month of less than 4 percent. These were Alfalfa County with 3.3 percent and Woods County with 3.9 percent. Alfalfa and Woods counties are side by side on the Kansas border in the northwest quadrant of Oklahoma. …

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