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Local News

June 5, 2012

Area, state unemployment numbers improve in April

DUNCAN — Stephens County and the state of Oklahoma have seen their unemployment rates improve in the month of April, moving Oklahoma into the fifth-highest ranked state in the nation.

For Stephens County, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission revealed the nonseasonally adjusted unemployment rate saw a 0.3-percent drop to 3.6 percent from March, which saw a 1.3-percent decrease from February, when there was a 5.2-percent unemployment rate.

This puts Stephens County in 28th place in the state for lowest unemployment rate. Roger Mills County leads the way with a 1.8-percent unemployment rate, while LeFlore  County has the highest unemployment rate, at 8.5 percent.

The state of Oklahoma in April had a 5-percent seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, dropping 0.4 percent from March.

The statewide unemployment rate for February was 6 percent, showcasing a drop by a full percentage point in two months and vaulting Oklahoma into the number-five spot nationally for lowest unemployment rates in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. North Dakota leads the nation with a 3-percent unemployment rate.

In the figures released by the OESC, the labor force for Stephens County — the number of people available to work — increased by 84 people from March, but the area saw a 155-person increase in employment, resulting in a 71-person decrease in unemployment.

These figures are smaller in comparison to the change that took place in March, which has a 1,231-person increase in labor force with an increase of 507 employed residents and a reduction of unemployment by 276 people.

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