Unemployment claims surge almost 1000 percent in Oklahoma

Collaborator: Brittany Harlow
Published: 03/30/2020, 11:03 AM
Edited: 03/11/2021, 10:22 AM
(TULSA, Okla.) Unemployment claims skyrocketed in Oklahoma the week of March 15 through 21, according to the most recent numbers from the Department of Labor. A new report shows 1,836 claimants filed for unemployment from March 8 through 14. The following week shows 17,720 claims reported by the state, an increase of 965 percent. Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt declared a State of Emergency in Oklahoma on March 15. According to the report, “During the week ending March 21, the increase in initial claims are due to the impacts of the COVID-19 virus. Nearly every state providing comments cited the COVID-19 virus impacts. States continued to cite services industries broadly, particularly accommodation and food services. Additional industries heavily cited for the increases included the health care and social assistance, arts, entertainment and recreation, transportation and warehousing, and manufacturing industries.” The full report can be found here: https://www.dol.gov/ui/data.pdf The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission closed all public access to OESC State Administrative Offices and Local Oklahoma Works American Job Centers earlier this month to protect the safety and well-being of their employees. Officials said staff have been working remotely to maintain and provide essential services. They encouraged customers to visit them online. The OESC Service Call Center said they are “experiencing extremely high call volume and long wait times due to this unprecedented COVID-19 situation.” Issues with applying for unemployment online have also been reported. If you need to file a claim or would like more information on how COVID-19 is affecting the OESC, click here: https://www.ok.gov/oesc/Claimants/COVID-19_Message.html


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