The state’s first jobless claims rose 58.5% in the week ending Dec. 18 from the previous week, according to a government report.
The US Department of Labor reported Thursday that initial jobless claims fell from 1,769 to 2,716. The number of continuing claims for this week fell 4.2%, from 13,999 to 13,410.
The four-week moving average of continuous claims was 14,066, down 309 from the previous week’s average of 14,375.
“I am incredibly proud of the state and OESC employees for their hard work and dedication to serving Oklahoman throughout the past year,” said Shelley Zumwalt, executive director of the Commission of Oklahoma’s job security, in a statement. “Looking back at the start of the year, the four-week moving average of continuous claims was 40,841, and now we’re well below 15,000, which is a dramatic drop of 63%.
“The four-week moving average of initial claims also fell 58%, from 5,034 to 2,078. Since the start of the pandemic, OESC has paid out $ 5.5 billion in unemployment benefits, all by continuing to maintain the solvency of the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. “
Nationally, the advanced seasonally adjusted initial claims figure for the week ending Saturday was 198,000, down 8,000 from the revised level the previous week, according to the Labor Department. The four-week moving average was 199,250, a decrease of 7,250 from the revised average for the previous week.