Numbers You Need is a monthly publication from OK Policy that presents key data on the state’s economy, work force, human services, and budget in one concise easy-to-read fact sheet.
April’s edition of Numbers You Need provides further evidence of the worsening economic situation in Oklahoma and the nation. The state’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate hit 5.5 percent in February, which is up from 5.0 percent in January but still well below the national rate of 8.1 percent. Personal income for the final quarter of 2008 rose by 0.1 percent in Oklahoma and fell by 0.2 percent nationally. Meanwhile, state revenue collections in March fell steeply for the third straight month, coming in 19.1 percent below last year’s amount and 17.2 percent below the certified estimate. The silver lining may be that inflation in the South region rose by 0.5 percent in February due in large part to rising energy prices, taming fears of deflation and providing some hope that the oil and gas sector may be rebounding.
Some other key findings from April’s edition:
- The number of Oklahomans participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program (formerly Food Stamps) rose for the tenth consecutive month in January and was up 6.6 percent for the year; and
- The number of children receiving subsidized child care through DHS fell by 2.1 percent in January, perhaps reflecting fewer work opportunities for low-income parents.
Click here to access the full two-page fact sheet.