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State weekly unemployment figures mixed

State weekly unemployment figures mixed

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Oklahoma Employment Security Commission Executive Director Shelley Zumwalt speaks during a news conference in July.

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) on Thursday reported mixed unemployment claim numbers.

There was a decrease in initial claims, an increase in continued unemployment claims, and an increase in the continued claims’ four-week moving average, the agency said.

For the week ending April 17, the advance number of initial claims, unadjusted, totaled 16,034, a decrease from the previous week’s revised level of 17,997.

Initial claims’ four-week moving average was 14,241, an increase of 2,285 from the previous week’s revised average of 11,956.

The advance unadjusted number of continued claims totaled 31,976, an increase of 6,383 from the previous week’s revised level of 25,593.

Continued claims’ four-week moving average was 26,419, an increase of 1,780 from the previous week’s revised average of 24,639.

“Last week, we saw a decrease in initial claims, with an increase in continued employment claims, which is likely due to an increase in initial claims from the previous week rolling into the continued claims category,” said OESC Executive Director Shelley Zumwalt in a statement.

“The agency remains focused on re-employment efforts to help Oklahomans re-enter the workforce.

“The career fairs we are hosting in May will provide an opportunity for employers and claimants to connect. I hear from employers regularly that they have jobs available and we are placing priority on connecting employers with those who need jobs,” she said.

Nationally, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims during the same period was 547,000, a decrease of 39,000 from the previous week’s revised level, the U.S. Department of Labor reported.

The four-week moving average was 651,000, a decrease of 27,750 from the previous week. For the week ending April 10, U.S. DOL reported the advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.6%, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate.

The national weekly seasonally adjusted initial claims report is one of 10 components in the Composite Index of Leading Economic Indicators.

To smooth out the volatility in the weekly initial claims data, a four-week moving average is used to assess trends.

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