Unemployment in Okla. Climbs to 4.3 Percent in December

Oklahoma’s unemployment rate rose 0.1 percent in December to 4.3 percent, spurred by higher jobless claims in more than half of the state’s 77 counties, according to state officials.

About 1.65 million people were employed in Oklahoma in December and 74,510 were out of work, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission reported.

McCurtain County, in the southeastern tip of Oklahoma, reported the state’s highest unemployment rate with 7.4 percent. Sequoyah County, on the border with Arkansas, had the biggest percentage gain – 6.5 percent, according to the OESC.

Woodward County reported the lowest unemployment rate, 2.8 percent, and Alfalfa County saw a 4.6 percent decline in unemployment, the OESC reported. Both counties are in northwestern Oklahoma.

Unemployment in Oklahoma and Tulsa counties, the state’s most populous, reached 4.4 percent and 4 percent, respectively, according to statistics.

In other large counties, the jobless rate reached 3.6 percent in Cleveland; 4.5 percent in Comanche; 3.2 in Garfield and 5.9 percent in Muskogee, the OESC said.