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Both initial, continued jobless claims decline in state

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Claims for both initial and continued unemployment benefits in the state declined again last week, according to a government report.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that initial claims for unemployment benefits in Oklahoma declined 17% last week compared to the previous week, from an upwardly revised total of 2,118 the week ending Oct. 30 to 1,757 claims last week. The data are not seasonally adjusted.

Continued claims — those filed after the initial week of unemployment — declined 13%, going from a revised 15,960 filings the week ending Oct. 23 to 13,895 the following week. That is the lowest point in nearly 2½ years.

Oklahoma was one of 18 states to see declines in initial claims and one of 29 to post declines in continuing claims for the week.

Nationwide, initial claims declined by 4,000 to 267,000. This is the lowest level for initial claims nationally since March 14, 2020.

Continued claims, meanwhile, increased by 1% nationwide to 1.9 million.

Meanwhile, the statewide four-week moving average of initial claims declined by about 2% the week ending Oct. 30 to 2,547. The four-week moving average of continued claims declined for the 16th consecutive week to 15,880 the week ending Oct. 30, 5% fewer than filed the prior week.

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Republicans were reluctant to criticize Gov. Stitt directly, but Rep. Monroe Nichols, D-Tulsa, said: “I hope all Oklahomans are taking note of the fact that the Republican supermajorities in the House and Senate have sent a clear signal that Governor Stitt shouldn’t be responsible for Oklahoma tax dollars.”

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