County unemployment up second month in a row
By Ken Childers
For the second month in a row, the unemployment rate for Okfuskee County has risen.
According to a report released Oct. 2 by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, Okfuskee County posted a rate of 4.6 percent in August, up four-tenths of one percent over August 2018’s rate of 4.2 percent.
The county’s jobless rate was also up in July, marking the first increase since October 2017. In July, the rate was 4.9 percent, up slightly over July 2018 when the rate was 4.7 percent.
The report shows Okfuskee County had an available work force of 4,659 in August and only 4,444 were counted as employed. Okfuskee County was ranked number 67 on the report for employment, which translates into having the 11th highest unemployment rate in the state.
In neighboring Creek County, the rate rose from 3.5 percent in August 2018 to 3.9 percent for the current period. Lincoln County posted a rate of 3.3 percent, a slight increase over last August’s rate of 3.6 percent. Okmulgee County saw its rate increase from 4.4 to 4.9 percent while Pottawatomie County’s rate remained unchanged at 3.6 percent. Seminole County realized a slight decrease from the previous year, with its jobless rate falling from 4.8 percent to 4.6 percent.
In August, McIntosh County posted Oklahoma’s highest county unemployment rate of 6.2 percent. Latimer County had the second-highest rate for the month. Cimarron County had the lowest county unemployment rate of 1.6 percent in August. Unemployment rates in August were higher than a year earlier in 61 counties, lower in eight counties and unchanged in eight counties.
US jobless rate unchanged
In August, the unemployment rate was 3.7 percent for the third month in a row, and the number of
unemployed persons was essentially unchanged at 6.0 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.4 percent), adult women
(3.3 percent), teenagers (12.6 percent), Whites (3.4 percent), Blacks (5.5 percent), Asians (2.8 percent),
and Hispanics (4.2 percent) showed little or no change in August.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 1.2
million in August and accounted for 20.6 percent of the unemployed.
The labor force participation rate edged up to 63.2 percent in August but has shown little change, on
net, thus far this year. The employment-population ratio, at 60.9 percent, also edged up over the month
and is up by 0.6 percentage point over the year.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as
involuntary part-time workers) increased by 397,000 to 4.4 million in August; this increase follows a
decline of similar magnitude in July. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time
employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find
In August, 1.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little different from a year
earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and
were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not
counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
Among the marginally attached, there were 467,000 discouraged workers in August, about unchanged from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted). Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.1 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in August had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.