No one was paying attention the agency was neglected for decades that includes a mainframe that was installed in 1978 and downsizing of staff, the editorial states.
The last time Oklahoma saw the few number of first-time claims was the week ending Dec. 26.
The state received more than $1 billion in federal stimulus dollars for COVID-19, but the audit only covered a fraction given the state.
The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission has begun distributing the first round of return-to-work initiative payments to Oklahomans.
Jobless plaintiffs in OKC and Tulsa say Gov. Stitt went too far by cutting off access to pandemic-related unemployment programs that provided weekly cash payments for tens of thousands of Oklahomans.
Many applications for a $1,200 back-to-work incentive have been disallowed due to mistakes by the applicants.
The four-week moving average of continued claims increased for the third consecutive week during the seven-day period ending June 12.
Initial claims, those filed at the onset of unemployment, have fluctuated in recent weeks, with claims figures first coming in relatively high, only to be revised downward greatly the following week.
The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, in a series of social media posts, said the accounts of “less than 20%” of the unemployment benefit cardholders were frozen due to “probably fraudulent activity.”
While initial claims have dropped dramatically since their historic peaks last spring, they are still 10 times higher than the same time two years ago in the state.
The state will offer a $1,200 incentive for those who obtain and keep a job, but is ending additional federal unemployment benefits.
Over a year since the pandemic began, how does our state, and Tulsa, come together to build and foster an even stronger economy? columnists Shelley Zumwalt and Jennifer Grigsby ask.
Extended unemployment benefits, fear of the pandemic among factors blamed for low staffing.
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 Oklahoma Employment Security Commission reported that nearly 18,000 Oklahoma workers filed initial claims for unemployment benefits during the week ending Saturday. During the prior week, 13,852 sought benefits for the first time.
State officials announced Tuesday that seven in-person job fairs and one virtual job fair will be offered across the state in May with the first one beginning in Tulsa.
The American Rescue Plan Act extended through Sept. 6 the federal unemployment benefits of $300 per week, which are paid on top of state benefits.
"Our dedicated team members continue to come up with innovative solutions to overcome the challenges," said OESC Executive Director Shelley Zumwalt.
The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that 4,768 Oklahoma workers filed first-time claims for unemployment the week ending Saturday.
Jennifer Grigsby will have oversight of the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, the Office of the State Treasurer, the Oklahoma Tax Commission and the State Auditor and Inspector.
The Labor Department reported that 28,178 Oklahoma workers filed for continued unemployment benefits the week ending Feb. 6 — nearly 9,500 fewer than received jobless benefits the prior week.
First-time claims for benefits declined while another metric shows claims hitting peaks not seen since July.