Oklahoma Economy Adds Nearly 50,000 Jobs as Wages Rise 6%


Oklahoma businesses and governments brought in more than 47,000 workers in 2022, but the unemployment rate rose last year as more people looked for work.

On Tuesday, the latest data on unemployment by state from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics was released.

Earlier this month, the bureau released vacancy data for each state in November, showing Oklahoma still has far more vacancies than job seekers.

Here’s what you need to know:

More workers in Oklahoma

The state ended 2022 with 1,702,600 seasonally adjusted nonfarm workers. This is more than 1,655,200 in December 2021. Growth was 2.9% year on year. Total employment in the non-agricultural sector in December 2020 amounted to 1.625 million people; in December 2019 – 1.705 million.

Employment in the public sector grew by about 5,000 people year-on-year, with about 350,000 people employed in the sector – the state’s largest – at the end of the year. The leisure and hospitality sector added 10,000 jobs in a year, education and healthcare added 7,000; Trade, transport, and utilities—the largest non-government sector, employing 327,000 people—added almost 10,000 jobs; Financial activity added about 3,000 jobs; Professional and business services added less than 1,000; Construction added over 3,000; Production added 5,000; and mining and logging added about 3,400.

“Oklahoma’s impressive job growth and our recent third-fastest-growing economy in the nation is a direct result of Gov. (Kevin) Stitt’s pro-business and freedom policies,” said Kate Vesper, Stitt’s spokeswoman.

For the year, seasonally adjusted unemployment also increased, up 10,979 people — 21% — from a year ago to 63,636 in December.

Nationwide, the economy added 4.5 million jobs in 2022.

More:Oklahoma’s unemployment rate is on the rise and the Fed expects a higher unemployment rate in 2023.

Unemployment rate

The unemployment rate remained at 3.4% for the third month in a row. This is up from 2.8% in December 2021 and is the highest since August 2021 when it was 3.5%.

The unemployment rate reached 12.5% ​​in April 2020, at the start of the pandemic, but dropped to 2.6% in February 2022. Now this level is about the same as before the pandemic, when it fluctuated just above 3% for several months.

Last month, Utah had the lowest unemployment rate in the country at 2.2%. Nevada had the highest rate at 5.2%.

President Joe Biden said on Tuesday: “Today’s unemployment rate in the state provides even more cause for optimism across the country. We see record lows from Pennsylvania to South Dakota and Alaska. 38 states now have unemployment rates of 4% or less, including 15 states with unemployment rates of 3% or less.”

The unemployment rate in the country in December amounted to 3.5%.

More:Oklahoma’s economic growth is one of the highest in the country

Vacancies, hiring and dismissal

The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that there are still twice as many jobs open in Oklahoma as there are people looking for work.

There were 132,000 job openings in Oklahoma in November, and 64,473 people were on the unemployment list. There were 10,000 more vacancies than in November 2021.

About 82,000 people were hired in Oklahoma in November, up from 85,000 in November 2021.

Layoffs in November amounted to 77,000 people, of which 57,000 people left their jobs. Layoffs and dismissals in November amounted to 16,000 people. The number of layoffs and layoffs was below the November 2021 level of 19,000.

Wage growth

Oklahoma’s average private sector hourly wage rose to $26.94 in December from $25.32 in December 2021. This is a 6% increase compared to a 7% year-on-year increase in the CPI in the South Region.

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