Unemployment claims increase for the fourth consecutive week | Local business news

According to a government report, first jobless claims in the state rose 14% last week from the previous seven-day period.

The US Department of Labor said 2,585 workers filed initial claims for unemployment benefits in the week ending Saturday, 400 more than the week ending March 19, according to upwardly revised figures.

Oklahoma was the nation’s third among states in the highest increase in claims for the week ending March 19 at 400.

Initial claims have risen for four straight weeks in the state, or nearly 80%, since the Feb. 26 low of 1,439 claims.

Continuing requests, meanwhile, fell by 6.6%, from 11,622 the week of March 12 to 10,856 requests the week ending March 19. Continuing claims are those filed after at least one week of unemployment.

The weekly trends are reflected in the four-week moving averages for each respective loss category.

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The four-week rolling average of initial requests fell from 1,779 in the week ending March 19 to 2,066 requests in the week ending Saturday.

Similarly, the four-week rolling average of continuing claims fell from 11,851 in the week ending March 12 to 11,583 claims in the week ending March 19.

Shelley Zumwalt, executive director of the Oklahoma Job Security Commission, said the initial increase in claims is consistent with historical trends.

“Oklahoma continues to report unemployment numbers well below pre-pandemic numbers, and we’re consistently seeing record high labor force participation,” Zumwalt said. “Additionally, in February, Oklahoma added nearly 7,000 non-farm payrolls. This increase in employment numbers and the steady decline in our four-week rolling average of continuing claims are significant indicators of the strength of our economy.

Nationally, 26 states, including all states bordering Oklahoma except Missouri, saw an increase in initial claims last week.

Nationally, initial claims rose by 14,000 to 202,000, according to seasonally adjusted figures.

Continuing claims fell by 35,000 nationally to 1,307,000 for the week ending March 19.