Oklahoma unemployment rate drops by .5 percent in March


Friday, April 26th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Oklahoma's unemployment rate in March stood at 4.1 percent, down from 4.6 percent a month earlier, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission said.

Seasonal growth in construction helped drive the unemployment rate down for the second straight month, the OESC said.

There were 69,800 Oklahomans who were unemployed in March.

The nonseasonal adjusted labor force in March totaled 1,695,800, an increase of 13,300, or 0.8 percent, from February, the employment commission reported Thursday.

The labor force has grown by about 43,400 since March 2001, the largest one-year increase in about 20 years, the OESC said.

Oklahoma's nonseasonally adjusted total employment stood at 1,626,000, a jump of about 21,500 jobs from February. It was the largest February-to-March increase in Oklahoma since 1993.

Alfalfa County's unemployment rate of 1.1 percent was the lowest in the state for the third straight month. The county with the highest employment rate was Ottawa County, at 7.1 percent.