The Norman Transcript

Opinion

July 17, 2014

More jobs needed to boost economy

NORMAN — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s cautious optimism about the nation’s economy was reassuring to the stock market Tuesday. Yellen said the economy continued to improve but the recovery is not yet complete.

Indeed, long-term unemployment remains a concern to most business analysts. Unemployment fell to 6.1 percent in June. Fed officials think the optimum rate should be between 5.5 and 5.2 percent.

Many of those long-term unemployed are seeking jobs that no longer exist. Thousands of jobs vanished after the 2008 recession and many are not coming back.

For many, their benefits have expired and they are not actively seeking employment.

Housing and manufacturing gains have been consistent.

Those two sectors produce considerable employment, but much of it is short-term.

Oklahoma’s unemployment rate was at 4.6 percent earlier this summer with very little change over the past few months. Cleveland County remains at 3.3 percent.

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