Press Release

September 18, 2020

OKLAHOMA UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IMPROVES, STATE RANKS 10TH NATIONALLY

Oklahoma State Capitol

OKLAHOMA CITY (Sept. 18, 2020)-- Governor Kevin Stitt today announced the State of Oklahoma is now ranked 10th in the nation for lowest unemployment rate.

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 5.7% in August, a significant decrease from 12.6% in May and a further decrease from 7.1% in July.  

"Oklahoma's perseverance and pioneer spirit continues to shine bright as we bounce back from the economic impact of COVID-19," said Gov. Stitt. "These numbers prove our safe reopening plan is working, and Oklahomans are getting back on their feet and finding jobs thanks to our businesses who continue to innovate and grow their operations.” 

In August, statewide seasonally adjusted employment increased by 51,621 persons (3.1%), while unemployment decreased by 23,085 persons (-18.1%). 

Statistics show the state had a net gain of 11,100 jobs. During the last four months Oklahoma has regained almost 45% of the jobs that were lost during the early months of the pandemic. 

"The nearly 20% decrease in the state unemployment rate from July to August is good news as more Oklahomans are finding work, and I'm encouraged about the progress Oklahoma businesses continue to make while weathering this stage of the pandemic,"said OESC Executive Director Shelley Zumwalt. "As more Oklahomans are returning to work, we're starting to see the results of our steadfast commitment to ensuring Oklahomans have access to reemployment services or training for a new career while receiving unemployment benefits." 

Oklahoma currently has the lowest unemployment rate in comparison to surrounding states, including Texas, Arkansas and Kansas.  

Surrounding States Unemployment Rates for August 2020 (National Rank):

Colorado: 6.7% (20) 

Texas: 6.8% (21) 

Kansas: 6.9% (T-22) 

Missouri: 7.0% (25) 

Arkansas: 7.4% (T-26) 

New Mexico: 11.3% (T-45)