NORMAN — Two recent reports point to better economic times in Oklahoma. The state’s unemployment rate of 5.1 percent is among the nation’s lowest. Cleveland County’s rate dropped from 4.4 percent to 4.1 percent from July to August.
Additionally, total tax collections for September increased 3 percent statewide. Oil and gas severance taxes continue to be below projections, but income, sales and motor vehicle taxes are up.
The $541.9 million was nearly 4 percent higher than what state budgetmakers estimated they would have to spend. That hasn’t always been the case, and state agencies were forced to furlough employees and suspend programs.
For the budget year’s first quarter, total revenues were down half a percent from the same time a year ago but were 1.7 percent above estimates.