A Tale of Two States – Unemployment rates across Oklahoma have slowly reverted back to the traditional pattern of higher rates in the eastern half of the state versus the western half. The lowest rates are in the northwest quadrant, driven in large part by strong oil and gas development. The highest rates are found along the eastern edge of the state stretching from Nowata County in the north to Choctaw and McCurtain Counties in the south. There is a pocket of weakness in southwest Oklahoma driven by military-related downsizing at Ft. Sill (Lawton) and Altus AFB.
The overall state jobless rate of 4.9% remains well below the 6.7% rate nationally.