State unemployment rate at 4.7 percent

Wednesday, November 2nd 2005, 5:20 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The state's unemployment rate has increased slightly to 4.7 percent largely because of hurricane evacuees from other states registering for jobless benefits.

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission reported unemployment for September was up from 4.2 percent in August and 4.4 percent for September 2004.

The Oklahoma City unemployment rate stood at 4.5 percent, up from 4 percent, while Tulsa was at 4.7 percent -- an increase of .6 -- and the Lawton rate increased from 4.4 percent to 5.2 percent.

Okfuskee County had the highest jobless rate in September at 8.2 percent, up from 7.7 percent in August and 8.1 percent in September 2004. Eleven counties had jobless rates for the month of 6 percent.

Roger Mills County had the state's lowest jobless rate at 3 percent, and that was up from 2.3 percent in August and 2.4 percent for September 2004. Seventeen counties had jobless rates of less than 4 percent in September.

The commission said evacuees from the two hurricanes along the Gulf Coast "forces state and affected local areas to register higher-than-normal unemployment. In the coming months, regular revisions will be made to the monthly statistics and a clearer picture of the hurricane's effect will emerge."

Statewide non-farm employment increased by 11,800 jobs in September from August. Non-farm employment for the month totaled 1,503,500 jobs, up from 1,491,700 in August and up 23,700 or 1.6 percent from 1,479,800 for September 2004.

Statewide manufacturing employment in September totaled 142,700 jobs, which was up 500 from August and 100 higher than September 2004.