After remaining fairly steady at an average of 2,558 new unemployment claims filed each week in Oklahoma, the number dropped by 96 for the first week of June.
Continued claims increased by 117 for the week ending 5/26/2012 from the previous week.
According to the BLS the unemployment rate in Oklahoma rose slightly in May to 4.8 percent from the April 4.4 percent. The total number unemployed grew from 79,144 in April to 86,532 in May, or by about 9 percent. This may have to do with the labor force increase (as graduations came about) of 7,058 people during the same period. Over the past 10 years we have seen an increase in unemployment in May and June then a decrease during the fall months. The report shows that the number of people employed dropped by only 330 from April to May of this year.
As noted above, the number employed in Oklahoma dropped by 330 from April to May, a trend we see happening each year at varying numbers. The total employed was, 1705,744 in May.
With the labor force growing from 1,785,218 in April to 1,792,276 in May, or 7,058 people, the number of available jobs could not keep pace.
The average hourly wage increased by $ .03 from April to May from $20.66 to $20.69. This is still a decrease from January $21.03 by $ .34 per hour. That equates to about $54.00 each month lost in wages since January.
It is important to keep in mind that the hourly wages from the BLS shown here are for all private industries. The fact that many new jobs have been made available will have an impact on the average hourly wage reported here.