The reason why the unemployment rate is so important is because it is an indicator of how many people are unemployed. The jobless rate compares unemployed workers to the remainder of the work force as a whole. Each state maintains its jobless rate every month, while the unemployment rate is also measured on a national level. In order to be considered unemployed, one must be at least 16 years of age, without employment but able to work if presented with a job. Those who left the work force through retirement or simply giving up the search are not counted as unemployed. Only those who remain on the hunt for a job within the work force after being previously employed are considered unemployed. The jobless rate can become a good tool to analyze the overall labor force, as well as a key component to whether the economy is in an upswing or downswing. For example, when jobless rates reach a high, then the government may considered declaring a recession and adjusting the unemployment insurance program policies. Economists also use unemployment rates as a way to measure the overall growth of the economy on a much larger scale.
What is the unemployment rate in Oklahoma specifically? As of May 2017, the unemployment rate in Oklahoma has remained at a consistent 4.3 percent, which is equivalent to the national average. While the unemployment rate in Oklahoma now is half a percentage point lower than the end of 2016, in a year’s time the fluctuation has not differed much. On a positive note, the unemployment rate in Oklahoma has remained low due to the 700 non-farm jobs, which were added in the month of May. Also, Oklahoma unemployment insurance benefit claims continued to decline as well.
For those needing extra financial assistance in between jobs, unemployment insurance benefits are an option. Depending on the qualification of the individual in terms of eligibility, temporary wage assistance is provided for those who actively seek employment opportunities but have not landed on employment yet.