August 30, 2013

Grady unemployment rate in good spot

James Bright, Managing Editor,
The Express-Star


A recent study from the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission shows Grady County's unemployment rate fell from 5.4 percent in July to 5 percent in August. 

This is .4 percent lower than rate in July of 2012. 

"What we see across the state is lower unemployment rates in the northwestern side of the state and a gradual tend upward toward the southeastern side," said John Carpenter, public information officer for the OESC. 

Carpenter said a number of variables contribute to Grady County's rate, but the most important is the presence of multiple industries. 

"The key is having a number of jobs available which would attract people to hang around the area after graduating high school," he said. "There is a lot of oil and gas in that area, which helps." 

Surrounding counties, like Cleveland and Canadian, posted similar unemployment rates. Carpenter said it is common to have a lot of economic connections in neighboring counties. 

"Grady County is doing well," he said. "The rate tends to be a little lower than the state rate, which has been traditionally lower than the national rate." 

Opinions over Grady County's current economic situation are not all positive. 

Some respondents to a question on The Express-Star's Facebook claimed the economic status in Grady County was not as favorable as the study showed. 

"We need some job fairs with jobs anyone is qualified for," wrote Megan Gardener. 

However, respondents like Amanda Beauchamp, claimed jobs are here for those who want them. 

"There are lots of jobs around here," she wrote. "If you're wanting something particular, it's obvious you are not going to find it in a small town anyway. In Oklahoma its kinda hard to blame the unemployment rate on not enough jobs. There are plenty of opportunities you just have to be willing to work."

Oklahoma as a whole has seen a positive trend when it comes to employment. 

"The majority of the counties all saw job numbers go up and unemployment rates go down," Carpenter said. "The state has started heading that direction too, and started a picking up a little momentum, which is a good thing."