The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission brings good news to end the new year, saying the number of unemployment claims have gone down for 27 weeks in a row.
The OESC Executive Director Shelly Zumwalt said the report is a good way to end a tough year and there could be even better news in 2021. The agency said it's a sign that more Oklahomans are working.
Zumwalt said a consistent decrease in claims could be due to the state reopening its economy earlier.
"What that shows to me is that people are finding new employment and that our economy is further ahead in that recovery part than many other states," she said.
Zumwalt said vaccines could be a huge boost that could get the state's economic engine fully running.
"Every time I see that we're vaccinating more people, it makes me excited because that means that we're taking those necessary steps to getting our economy and our people back to where they were pre-pandemic," Zumwalt said.
In the meantime, Zumwalt said OESC will replace its 40-year-old mainframe with a modern system. The replacement will reduce crashes and make it faster and easier for Oklahomans to file claims.
“We’re doing a transformation right now and it’s a complete business process transformation," Zumwalt said. "It will radically, more so than I’ve seen at any other state agency, radically change the way the agency does business day-to-day."