The Norman Transcript

Opinion

March 4, 2014

Still holding strong

NORMAN — Separate reports gave more positive news on the Midwest economy. The U.S. Labor Department said the state’s unemployment rate was unchanged in 2013 from 2012. Oklahoma continues to have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation.

The state’s 5.4 percent rate compares to the national average rate of 7.4 percent. Nevada had the highest rate of unemployment at 9.8 percent, and North Dakota had the lowest at 2.9 percent.

A monthly economic survey suggests growth will continue over the next three to six months for Midwestern and Plains states. The overall Mid-America Business Conditions Index fell to 57.4 in February from 57.7 in January.

Any number above 50 indicates that growth is expected. The survey by Creighton University checks with supply managers on future purchases. Most reported healthy business activity for the first two months of the year.

About a third said the severe winter weather had affected their decisions so far this year.

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