Unemployment claims in Oklahoma declined in last week
Initial filings for unemployment benefits in Oklahoma dropped last week compared with the week prior, the U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday.
New jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, fell to 8,500 in the week ending June 19, down from 10,614 the week before, the Labor Department said. There were 58,613 new claims in Oklahoma at the same time last year.
U.S. unemployment claims dropped to 411,000 last week, down 7,000 claims from 418,000 the week prior on a seasonally adjusted basis.
New U.S. jobless claims have remained above 400,000 for two straight weeks, surprising economists. While that's down significantly from more than 6 million claims in one week in early April last year, new claims are nearly double what they were in the months leading up to the pandemic.
"The level is surprisingly high even as the economic reopening is continuing," Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, said in an email.
Pennsylvania saw the largest percentage increase in weekly claims, with claims jumping by 49.1%. Mississippi, meanwhile, saw the largest percentage drop in new claims, with claims dropping by 42%. Pennsylvania's claims were impacted by upgrades to the state's Department of Labor and Industry unemployment computer system, which caused claims to drop to artificially low levels earlier this month, said Sarah DeSantis, press secretary for the department.
The USA TODAY Network is publishing separate versions of this article with localized statistics on its news sites across the country.