Average Oklahoma unemployment lowest since pandemic start

Oklahoma's four-week average of unemployment claims has fallen below 100,000 for the first time since the jobless rate skyrocketed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the state employment security commission reported Thursday.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma's four-week average of unemployment claims has fallen below 100,000 for the first time since the jobless rate skyrocketed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the state employment security commission reported Thursday.

The rolling average for the week ending Oct. 10 was 90,445, down from 100,464 the previous week and the unadjusted number of initial claims was 4,840, down by 940 from the prior week's revised total 5,780.

A record of more than 182,000 continuing claims were reported in late June as the state reopened following Gov. Kevin Stitt's shutdown of many businesses to stem the spread of the virus.

The state health department on Thursday reported 1,122 additional virus cases and 13 more deaths due to COVID-19, the illness caused by the disease, for a total of 102,615 cases and 1,132 deaths since the pandemic began. The actual number of cases is likely higher because many people haven't been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

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