On Labor Day, thinking of those without jobs

In honor of Labor Day weekend, Scott Simon, host of NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, offered this touching essay urging us to keep in mind “the millions of Americans who don’t have jobs, but who in many ways work harder than… Read more [More...]

State Unemployment Insurance fund feeling the strain but still holding up

A stark indicator of the extent of Oklahoma’s job losses over the past year is the state’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund account. Going into 2009, the Trust Fund enjoyed a very healthy balance of $824 million. Now, twelve months… Read more [More...]

July Numbers Bulletin shows what a rough year it's been

This week we released the July edition of Numbers You Need, our monthly bulletin of key economic and budget trends.  The monthly report contained some glimmers of good news, as the state’s unemployment rate rose by a relatively modest 0.1… Read more [More...]

Mixed news on the unemployment front

Across the nation, the deep, prolonged economic recession is putting great strains on state Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs. Oklahoma is hardly immune from these challenges, but our problems are less severe than elsewhere. The combination of having entered the recession… Read more [More...]

Two stories from the recession

Sunday’s issue of The Oklahoman featured a compelling report by Paula Burkes on the struggles of several Oklahomans who have unexpectedly found themselves among the ranks of the unemployed, losing long-time jobs and struggling to regain their footing in an… Read more [More...]

Numbers You Need – May 2009

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. The forecasters may be predicting an economic turnaround ahead, but… Read more [More...]

Small steps

Kudos to the Oklahoma Legislature and Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland for taking a small but worthwhile step in helping Oklahomans keep their health insurance. SB 553, authored by Sen. Ron Justice (R-Chickasha) in the Senate and sponsored by Rep. Leslie… Read more [More...]

Take the money

A new OK Policy issue brief looks at the federal stimulus funding that is being made available to states that adopt a number of modest reforms to their Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs. As the number of jobless workers claiming UI… Read more [More...]

Falling, falling

As we showed in the March edition of Numbers You Need, the number of laid-off Oklahomans receiving unemployment benefits is skyrocketing. An average of 4,881 workers filed first-time claims in January, an increase of 149 percent compared to September 2008.… Read more [More...]

Unemployed Poor

The Oklahoman had an editorial today about the increase in the numbers of Oklahomans needing assistance to get by. Food stamp usage has reached an all time high in Oklahoma. It is a sobering editorial, but an issue that needs… Read more [More...]