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Over all, Oklahoma City's unemployment declines

Oklahoma City lost 4,100 energy-related jobs over the year ending in April, a 21.1 percent decline, according to data released Wednesday by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.

In April alone, Oklahoma City lost 1,200 energy sector jobs, a 7.3 percent decline as oil and gas companies continue to feel the pressure from sustained low crude prices. 

Still, Oklahoma City's unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point to 3.7 percent in April, according to preliminary data released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Labor. 

Oklahoma City's jobless rate in April was still two-tenths of a percentage point higher than the 3.5 percent rate a year ago.

Ames, Iowa, had the lowest unemployment rate in the United States in April at 2 percent.

El Centro, Calif., had the nation's highest unemployment rate at 20.1 percent.

Oklahoma City gained 6,400 jobs for the year ending in April 2016, but job growth was slower than it enjoyed during most of the post-Great Recession period, said Lynn Gray, chief economist for the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.

Job growth grew at a rate of 1 percent for the past 12 months but was up 1.9 percent in April last year.

Across Oklahoma, unemployment rates were higher than a year earlier in 50 of 77 counties for the month.

Unemployment declined in Oklahoma 19 counties and was unchanged in eight counties.

Stephens County in southwest Oklahoma had the state's highest unemployment rate among counties at 8.4 percent.

Cimarron County in the Oklahoma Panhandle had the state's lowest unemployment rate at 2.2 percent.

Brianna Bailey

Brianna Bailey joined The Oklahoman in January 2013 as a business writer. During her time at The Oklahoman, she has walked across Oklahoma City twice, once north-to-south down Western Avenue, and once east-to-west, tracing the old U.S. Route 66.... Read more ›