State Unemployment Rate Unchanged In February

Friday, March 30th 2007, 5:21 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Oklahoma's unemployment rate held steady at 4.4% in February, the first time since 2002 that rate did not fall during the January-to-February period.

The state's non-seasonally adjusted employment rate topped 4% in January for the first time since June. The commission said that in February, 75,670 Oklahomans were unemployed, compared with 74,610 in January and 73,810 in February 2006, when the unemployment rate also was 4.4%.

The commission reported growth in natural resources and mining, which provided more than 30% of the annual growth in February, and government, which provided more than half of the monthly growth. The governmental growth, particularly in state government, follows a seasonal trend seen each year at this time.

Only two industries reported job losses for the month-- trade, transportation and utilities and information. Seasonal retail trade losses and smaller losses in transportation, warehouse and utilities accounted for most of the 1,400 jobs lost in that sector during February.

The state's total non-farm employment expanded, gaining 11,200 jobs, or 0.7%.