Jobless rate nearly steady at 5.4 percent in metro Tulsa
BY LAURIE WINSLOW World Staff Writer
Thursday, October 04, 2012
10/04/12 at 2:33 AM
Metro Tulsa's jobless rate barely moved in August, dipping to 5.4 percent from a revised 5.5 percent in July, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.
"There is really not a great deal of change for Tulsa in this month," said Lynn Gray, the OESC's chief economist. "That is really the big headline. This is really the month where not much changed at all."
Before the revision, July's rate was recorded as 5.4 percent.
The metro unemployment rate was 6.8 percent in August 2011.
According to a survey of business establishments, the Tulsa area's nonfarm employment grew by 2,100 jobs from July to August to total 415,100. That represented a gain of 10,300 jobs, or 2.5 percent, from a year ago.
A smaller household survey shows that total employment, which is made up of farm jobs and self-employed individuals, declined slightly. Its labor force also was down, while the number of unemployed dropped.
The growth recorded by the larger survey was slightly better than average for August, Gray said.
"Still, it's nothing earth-shaking," he said. "It's really a stable month in terms of employment."
Bob Ball, economic research manager for the Tulsa Metro Chamber, pointed out that goods-producing industries, which includes mining, construction and manufacturing, showed significant growth from a year ago. Construction, for instance, added 800 jobs over the month and 1,900 jobs over the year. Manufacturing was up 4,600 jobs from a year ago.
But his overall assessment for the month was like Gray's.
"Were holding steady," Ball said.
Oklahoma City's jobless rate of 4.6 percent in August again was the lowest among the 49 metro areas with a population of 1 million or more.
Nationwide, unemployment rates were lower in August than a year earlier in 325 of the 372 metros, higher in 40 areas and unchanged in seven, according to the BLS.
El Centro, Calif., and Yuma, Ariz., recorded the highest unemployment rates at 29.9 percent.
Bismarck, N.D., had the lowest unemployment rate at 2.6 percent.
Job gains and losses among Tulsa metro's 11 super sectors over the month in August
(Data based on nonseasonally adjusted data from the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission)
Mining and logging unchanged
Trade, transportation and utilities +100
Financial activities +100
Professional and business services +500
Educational and health services unchanged
Leisure and hospitality +500
Other services -100
Performance of metro's super sectors over the year
Mining and logging +400
Trade, transportation and utilities +600
Financial activities -200
Professional and business services +2,200
Educational and health services +1,000
Leisure and hospitality +600
Other services -200
Original Print Headline: Metro jobless rate nearly steady
Laurie Winslow 918-581-8466