The Unemployment Rate estimates the percent of an area's civilian work force (age 16 and over) that is unemployed. To be counted as unemployed an individual must be out of work, currently available for work and actively looking for work. The annual unemployment rate is an average of an area's monthly rates. Rates reported here are three-year annual averages for each area.
Unemployment Rate data uses U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for the referenced years.
Unemployment Rates are frequently criticized as being too low as a result of not counting unemployed workers who have abandoned their efforts to find employment (discouraged workers). Unemployment rates are also very volatile during any economic downturn. For example, Oklahoma's unemployment rate for most of 2010 was higher than the latest three-year period (2007-2009) reported. Regardless, the three-year average unemployment rates used in KIDS COUNT Fact books provide a reliable and valid basis of comparison of unemployment among Oklahoma counties and the state. The unemployment rate is typically the best measure of people's ability to improve economic conditions through work. When subsequent government reports adjust and update unemployment rates which had been reported earlier, the revised figures are used to calculate subsequent annual averages in KIDS COUNT Factbooks.
LAST UPDATED OR EDITED: May 13, 2018.