Unemployment Likely To Grow In Oklahoma Due To $417M Budget Shortfall


Tuesday, April 21st 2020, 3:06 am
By: Shannon Rousseau


Unemployment in Oklahoma could jump between 12 and 14% because of a roughly $417-million budget shortfall caused by the pandemic.

Governor Kevin Stitt says he'd prefer lawmakers make cuts rather than use the state's savings to fill the budget hole. Because of COVID-19 and plunging oil prices the state is short nearly $417-million this fiscal year and more than one-billion dollars short for the next budget year.

The State Board of Equalization which includes the Governor, Treasurer, and Tax Commissioner is declaring a state revenue failure which happens when revenue is below what was originally expected. Oklahoma's unemployment rate is already at a record high and more job losses are likely coming now that oil prices have plummeted to record lows.

Related Story: Oil Price Goes Negative As Demand Collapses; Stocks Dip 

Related Story: Oil, Gas Industry Rebound Could Take Years, Experts Say 

Projections show Oklahoma is likely to see a peak unemployment rate of up to 14% compared to just 3% percent last month. Governor Stitt says he expects to release details on how he's going to re-open the state's economy in the coming days. 

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