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More Than 50,000 Oklahomans Filed For Unemployment Last Week

Oklahomans filing for unemployment insurance for the first time topped 50,000 last week, with 51,124 claims. That breaks a record from the week before of 47,744 claims.

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission says the rise in claims are a result of COVID-19 related closures and declines in the oil industry.

Meanwhile, the nation marked its second highest level of seasonally adjusted claims at 6.6 million, down from the previous week of 6.9 million initial claims.

In a statement, OESC Executive Director Robin Roberson said the agency has increased the number of employees available to assist callers and is simplifying the claims filing process on their website.

The U.S. Department of Labor is also finalizing it’s guidance on funds available through the CARES Act for nontraditional workers. Roberson said OESC is optimistic those funds will be available next week and backdated to March 30th to assist gig workers, independent contractors and other self-employed individuals seeking relief.

Out of work Oklahomans can file initial claims at oesc.ok.gov.

Kateleigh Mills returned to KOSU in December 2019 as Special Projects Reporter, following a year-long stint at KWBU in Waco, Texas.
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