The Norman Transcript

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August 20, 2013

Unemployment rate increases slightly in July

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s unemployment rate rose slightly in July, but still is better than the national average by more than 2 percentage points, state employment officials said Monday.

Figures released by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission show the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by one-tenth of 1 percentage point in July to 5.3 percent. During the same time, the national rate dropped to 7.4 percent.

The figures show 95,400 Oklahomans were considered unemployed in July. The construction sector showed the largest decline from June of 2,100 jobs.

“The goods producing industries took a hit in July,” said OESC spokesman John Carpenter. “But we did see healthy gains in some of the service providing industries.”

The professional and business services sector showed an increase of 1,700 jobs in July.

The state’s unemployment rate hit a six-month low of 4.9 percent in April but has been steadily increasing since. The largest losses over the last year have been 5,400 jobs lost in the mining and logging sector, which includes the oil and gas industry.

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