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Oklahoma unemployment rate continues to rise

Oklahoma had one of the largest increases in unemployment over the past year, according to new numbers released by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Oklahoma was tied with Wyoming for the biggest increase in unemployment over the past year, according federal data released Friday.

Both states saw unemployment rates increase by 1 percent for the year ending in September.

Oklahoma's unemployment rate edged up to 5.2 percent in September, up one-tenth of a percentage point from August.

Oklahoma lost 6,000 jobs in September. The unemployment rate and jobs numbers are based on two different surveys.

Over the year ending in September, Oklahoma lost 11,700 jobs as the state's economy continued to struggle with the effects of low crude oil prices.

Education and health services saw the largest gains in September, adding 600 jobs over the month in Oklahoma.

Professional, scientific, and technical services and government saw the largest declines, with each category losing 1,800 jobs in September, followed by leisure and hospitality, with a loss of 1,700 jobs.

Oklahoma industries with the largest declines in jobs over the year were manufacturing, which lost 9,800 jobs and energy sector jobs, which lost 7,200 positions.

Leisure and hospitality claimed the largest job gain over the year, adding 5,500 jobs in Oklahoma.

The national jobless rate was 5 percent in September, little changed over the previous month.

Nationally, Friday figures reflect broader trends that were evident in the national jobs report issued earlier this month: Hiring has slowed from last year's healthy pace to a still-decent level.

And more Americans are searching for work, apparently encouraged by the steady job gains of the past several years. That has pushed up the unemployment rate, as not all immediately find work.

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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 ›