Nation's Falling Unemployment Rate Good News For Oklahoma

Friday, January 6th 2012, 6:34 pm

New employment numbers for the state of Oklahoma and the nation have a lot of people smiling. Nationally, unemployment has dropped to 8.5%. That's the lowest level in more than three years.

Most agree there has also been a lot of good news for the Oklahoma economy this week.

More people have jobs, unemployment is down, and several hundred high paying positions will be landing here soon which should benefit us all.

Rachel Moulder has been unemployed since October.

A certified nurse's aide, she was at the city's eastside workforce center Friday freshening up her resume. But every time she applies for a job, she says she gets the same answer: "Just not hiring right now,"

But new jobs numbers may give her new hope. In Oklahoma City between October and November employment climbed by 4,115, while unemployment dropped by 1646.

"Those are pretty big numbers. I think that's the largest October to November gain we've seen in Oklahoma City in quite some time," said John Carpenter, a spokesperson for the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.

Carpenter says is also the first time since the recession started that employment climbed and unemployment fell.

"It's definitely a move in the right direction."

"We are probably positioned better then pretty much any metropolitan city in the United States," said Roy Williams, the head of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber.

Williams is optimistic not only about the numbers but the news that more jobs are coming to the city.

Boeing this week said it is transferring as many as 900 high-paying engineering jobs to the city.

Williams says those people will buy homes, eat out, spend money, and pay taxes.

"Generally speaking those kind of jobs will create two more, so you can take that number and triple it if you really want to look at the net new jobs those are going to be," Williams said.

Williams says much of the Oklahoma economy depends on what happens nationally, so the good news on the country's job rate Friday is also good news for Oklahoma.