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Weak Job Market Indicators Drag Oklahoma Down in Rankings

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Finance and economics site WalletHub has ranked the states from best to worst for jobs, and the news for Oklahoma isn’t good.

"Oklahoma ranked 45th, so it stands as the sixth-worst state for jobs right now," said WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez.

While Oklahoma was middle-of-the-road for economic environment indicators like median annual salary, the state’s scores on job market measures were near the bottom.

"Right now, employment growth in Oklahoma is actually negative, and that's one thing that certainly does need to change for this to really move up in the metrics," Gonzalez said.

Oklahoma ranked 48th in employment growth and job security, which was also negative.

Oklahoma scored well when it came to the share of income workers pay in state taxes, one of the report's economic environment indicators.

"Anything from 2 to 3 percent would be considered good. That's exactly where Oklahoma is, pretty much across the board," Gonzalez said. "For low-income or high-income earners, only about 2 to 3 percent of that salary is going to state income taxes."

Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana and West Virginia ranked lower than Oklahoma. The closest neighboring state, Arkansas, is six places ahead of Oklahoma thanks to a much better jobs market score.