Unemployment rates have bumped up slightly for most of Oklahoma, though that’s not exactly the case for Stephens County, according to figures released by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) Wednesday for the month of December.
Numbers released by the Duncan Chamber of Commerce indicate jobless rates increased year over year in November 2019, putting Stephens County up to 5% from 4.9% in October and 3.3% at the same time last year. The latest Oklahoma employment report from OESC shows the 5% from the last report has dipped slightly to 4.6% for Stephens County for December 2019. According to OESC, these numbers are not seasonally adjusted and may change.
“Each month, Current Employment Statistics and Local Area Unemployment Statistics data for the previous month is revised,” states OESC. “The data for the current month in this … release is preliminary, not revised, and the data for the previous months is revised. All data is non-seasonally adjusted.”
December 2019 in Stephens County showed 18,458 individuals in the labor force with 17,602 employed and 856 unemployed, according to OESC, compared to November 2019 which saw 18,623 in the labor force, of which 17,669 were employed and 954 were unemployed.
According to OESC, December 2018 in Stephens County had an unemployment rate of 3.5%. Unemployment trends in 2019 oscillated slightly between October 2019, which came in at 4.9%, November 2019 which came in at 5.1% and December’s rate of 4.6%.
Neighboring counties around Stephens each seemed to be lower, as Grady County brought in a 3.3% unemployment just like Comanche County, while Cotton County rang in at 3.1%, Jefferson County at 3.2% and Carter and Garvin Counties both at 3.4%.
As it stands, the highest county unemployment rates are found in Latimer County at 7.2%, McIntosh County at 6.5% and then McCurtain County at 6.1%. The lowest rates, on the other hand, are found in Cimarron County with 1.6%, Woods County with 1.7% and both Alfalfa and Beaver Counties with 1.9%.
Overall, December 2019 rates for unemployment were higher than a year earlier in 53 counties, according to OESC, which also states 13 counties had lower rates and 11 counties were unchanged.
For more information, visit www.ok.gov/oesc.