Oklahoma City has had the lowest unemployment rate of any large metro (metro with population of 1 million or more) six out of the 10 months since the recession was declared in September 2008. The other four months the unemployment rate ranked a close 2nd in the nation.
In June, Oklahoma City’s unemployment rate was at 6.0% (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), well below the next closest large metro of the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria area at a 6.6% unemployment rate.
The national unemployment rate in June was a staggering 9.7%, up from 5.7% a year earlier. Unemployment rates were higher in June than a year earlier in all 372 metropolitan areas.
Oklahoma City continues to show resiliency in the face of this recession. Home prices are below the US average, with values expected to rise throughout the rest of the year. The commercial real estate market is holding steady with some of the lowest office vacancy rates in the nation. The tourism industry is strong, with more than 7.5 million visitors in 2008.
Oklahoma City’s unemployment rates are as follows:
September 2008: 3.5% (lowest)
October 2008: 4.2% (2nd)
November 2008: 4.4% (lowest)
December 2008: 4.6% (lowest)
January 2009: 5.2% (lowest)
February 2009: 5.6% (2nd)
March 2009: 5.6% (2nd)
April 2009: 5.4% (2nd)
May 2009: 5.7% (lowest)
June 2009: 6.0% (lowest)
This news comes on the heels of being named 2nd in the top 100 metros with strong economic performance during the recession by the Brookings Institute.