Virus-related unemployment claims rise in Oklahoma

April 16, 2021 GMT

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Virus-related claims for unemployment benefits, including initial and continuing claims and the four-week moving average, have increased in Oklahoma according to the state Employment Security Commission.

Commission director Shelley Zumwalt said the increase is due to people who lost jobs at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic a year ago reapplying, as required, after 52 weeks.

“Last week, we saw a significant increase in initial unemployment claims, which is largely due to a number of claimants refiling for unemployment after their benefit year expired,” Zumwalt said in a statement Thursday,


Initial claims for the week ending April 10 totaled 17,997, or 4,145 more than the previous week’s total of 13,852, according to the commission,

Continuing claims rose by 1,367 to 25,593, according to the commission report, and the four-week moving average of initial claims rose by 2,771 to 11,956.

The state health department on Friday reported 444,863 total virus cases and 8,124 deaths based on death certificates supplied to the federal Centers for Disease Control, increases of 273 cases and 10 additional deaths since Thursday.

The health department has confirmed 6,697 deaths due to COVID-19, the 26th highest total nationwide and the 24th highest per capita at 169.8 deaths per 100,000 people.