March’s edition of Numbers You Need provides further evidence of the deteriorating economic situation in Oklahoma. The state’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate hit 5.0 percent in January, up from 4.6 percent in December. Building permits issued in the final quarter of 2008 were down 44 percent compared to 2007, with the three month total representing the lowest level of activity since at least 1995. Meanwhile, state revenue collections in February fell steeply for the second straight month, coming in 21.6 percent below last year’s amount and 30.4 percent below the certified estimate.
Some other key findings in March’s edition:
- The number of Oklahomans receiving Food Stamps rose for the ninth consecutive month in December;
- An average of 4,881 initial claims for Unemployment Insurance benefits were filed in January, an increase of 149 percent compared to September 2008; and
- The Consumer Price Index rose by 0.4 percent in January, reversing three straight months of declining prices.
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