Zumwalt Named Director of Oklahoma Unemployment Agency

Sep 1, 2020

Shelley Zumwalt (right), then interim director of the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, talks to state Rep. John Waldron (D-Tulsa) at a July claims event at the Tulsa fairgrounds.
Credit OESC

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission on Tuesday announced that interim director Shelley Zumwalt has been named executive director of the agency.

The former budget analyst and communications director at the Office of Management and Enterprise Services had been named the commission’s interim director in May after Robin Roberson’s resignation.

The agency said in a news release that since Zumwalt became interim director the number of pending unemployment claims has been reduced from more than 120,000 to between 5,000 and 10,000.

Roberson stepped down amid complaints of delayed or unpaid claims that led to lines of people often stretching for blocks outside the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. The agency blamed delays on an outdated computer system.

The latest state unemployment rate reported by the commission was 7.1% jobless in July, down from a high of 14.7% in April when many businesses were closed or curtailed in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.