Oklahoma businesses and governments have added more than 47,000 workers by 2022, but the unemployment rate rose last year as more people sought work.
The latest state unemployment numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics were released on Tuesday.
Earlier this month, the bureau released statistics on job openings for each state in November, showing that there are still more openings in Oklahoma than there are job seekers.
Here’s what you need to know:
Many workers in Oklahoma
The government ended 2022 with 1,702,600 workers in non-farm payrolls, adjusted periodically. That’s up from 1,655,200 in December 2021. The increase was 2.9% per year. Total non-farm payrolls in December 2020 were 1.625 million; in December 2019 it was 1.705 million.
Government employment grew by about 5,000 workers year-on-year, with about 350,000 people employed in that sector – the largest in the country – at the end of the year. The Leisure and Hospitality sector added 10,000 jobs over the year, Education and Health Services added 7,000; Trade, Transport and Utilities – the largest private sector, with 327,000 employees – added nearly 10,000 jobs; Finance jobs added about 3,000 jobs; Professional and Business Services added less than 1,000; Construction added over 3,000; Production added 5,000; and Mining and logging added about 3,400.
“Oklahoma’s impressive job growth, and our ranking as the nation’s third fastest growing economy, is a direct result of Governor (Kevin) Stitt’s pro-business and pro-freedom policies,” said Kate Vesper, Stitt’s press secretary.
During the year, seasonally adjusted unemployment also increased, rising by 10,979 people – 21% – year-on-year, to 63,636 in December.
Nationally, the economy has added 4.5 million jobs by 2022.
Too much:Oklahoma’s unemployment rate is rising, and the Fed expects unemployment to peak in 2023
The unemployment rate remained at 3.4% in the third month after that. That’s up from 2.8% in December 2021 and the highest since August 2021, when it was 3.5%.
The unemployment rate reached 12.5% in April 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, but had fallen to 2.6% in February 2022.
Utah had the lowest unemployment rate in the nation last month, at 2.2%. Nevada had the highest, at 5.2%.
President Joe Biden said on Tuesday, “Today’s unemployment rates give more reasons for optimism across the country. We’re seeing record lows from Pennsylvania to South Dakota to Alaska. 38 states now have unemployment at or below 4 percent, including 15 states at or below 3 percent.
The national unemployment rate in December was 3.5%.
Too much:Oklahoma’s economic growth is among the highest in the country
Job openings, hiring and termination
The latest job opening numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that Oklahoma continues to have twice as many job openings as job seekers.
In November, there were 132,000 job openings in Oklahoma, while 64,473 people were listed as unemployed. Job openings were 10,000 more than in November 2021.
About 82,000 people were employed in Oklahoma in November, compared to 85,000 in November 2021.
The separation in November totaled 77,000, with people who quit their jobs 57,000 of them. Layoffs and layoffs in November were 16,000. Layoffs and layoffs were below the November 2021 level of 19,000.
Incomes are rising
Oklahoma’s private sector hourly wages grew to $26.94 in December, up from $25.32 in December 2021. That 6% increase compares to a 7% increase in the Consumer Price Index year-over-year in the South region.