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New Unemployment Claims Down in Oklahoma a 3rd Straight Week

Tim Mossholder

First-time unemployment claims fell in Oklahoma for the third week in a row.

For the week ended April 18, 42,577 people filed initial jobless claims, 4,119 fewer than the week before.

The 9% decline was less pronounced than a 26% drop the week before.

More than 260,000 Oklahomans have filed for unemployment over the past six weeks, with more than 60,000 in the week ending April 4 alone.

Oklahoma’s latest unemployment rate recorded with the U.S. Department of Labor was almost 7.2%, reflecting the week ended April 11. Gov. Kevin Stitt said recently it is approaching 13%.

While the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission has added staff to work through the mountain of claims, fraudulent claims are adding to the agency’s workload. More than 3,800 have been identified since mid-March.

"For individuals who lost their job due to the oil crisis or COVID-19 related business closures, discovering their identity has been used to file a bogus unemployment claim only adds to the devastation our neighbors are experiencing," OESC Director Robin Roberson said in a news release.

Oklahomans who believe a fraudulent claim has been filed using their personal information should email OESC at fraud@oesc.state.ok.us.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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