Tulsa World

First-time jobless claims dip again

Oklahoma’s low numbers not seen since start of the pandemic

- CURTIS KILLMAN Tulsa World curtis.killman@tulsaworld.com

First-time jobless claims declined again last week in Oklahoma, once again hitting lows not seen since the start of the pandemic, according to a government report.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that initial claims for unemployme­nt declined by nearly 20% from a revised total of 2,676 claims the week ending Aug. 28 to 2,162 claims the week ending Saturday.

For both Oklahoma and the U.S. as a whole, the number of first-time claims filed last week is the lowest since the beginning of the pandemic.

Continued claims, those filed after one week of unemployme­nt, also declined in the state.

The Labor Department reported that continued claims declined by nearly 15%, or from a revised total of 25,275 the week ending Aug. 21 to 21,594 claims the week ending Aug. 28.

The four-week moving average of both initial and continued claims also continued to decline.

The four-week moving average of continued claims declined for the seventh consecutiv­e week to 25,941 claims the week ending Aug. 28.

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, which waits a week before commenting on new claim figures, noted the trend in continued unemployme­nt claims’ four-week moving averages in its weekly news release on the topic.

“For six consecutiv­e weeks, we have seen the continued unemployme­nt claims’ four-week moving average decline,” said Shelley Zumwalt, OESC executive director. “The four-week moving average is a trusted way to gauge our state’s progress with unemployme­nt, and we are continuing to see recovery week-toweek.

“We are hopeful that we will continue to see progress in the coming months as the agency remains focused on connecting claimants to workforce opportunit­ies.”

The four-week moving average of initial claims declined for the 10th consecutiv­e week, or from 10,358 claims the week ending June 19 to 3,412 claims the week ending Aug. 28.

Meanwhile, the U.S. saw a seasonally adjusted 310,000 initial claims filed the week ending Saturday, a 35,000 claim decline from the prior week.

This is the lowest level for initial claims nationwide since March 14, 2020, when it was 256,000.

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