While unemployment rate remains steady, Oklahoma sees aerospace staffing boost


While unemployment rate remains steady, Oklahoma sees aerospace staffing boost

The Oklahoma unemployment rate did not drop as it did in a majority of states during November, but the Sooner State continues to see aerospace staffing additions, according to recent reports.

For the second consecutive month, the jobless rate remained at 6.1 percent in November, which still gives it the ninth lowest unemployment rate among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to Oklahoma's employment security commission.

The state's seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment dropped as a whole by 0.1 percent last month, but seven of Oklahoma's 11 statewide supersectors reportedly experienced job gains. Like many states, the trade, transportation and utilities sector led the way, adding 1,300 positions across the state last month.

In terms of year-over-year comparisons, Oklahoma boosted its manufacturing staffing by 10,400 from November 2010 to the same month this year, while professional and business services increased by 3.3 percent during that period, the employment security commission reported.

One indication that the Oklahoma economy may have a bright outlook heading into 2012 is the recent boost in aerospace staffing that the state has witnessed.

The Tulsa World reports an aerospace manufacturer based in the city is planning to add 150 new employees as part of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce's Quality Jobs Program.

While officials with the company did not specify when individuals will be hired to fill the new positions, Mike Neal, the president and chief executive officer of the Tulsa Metro Chamber, noted the decision will have a significant impact on the local community.

"This is great news for the company and for our region, and we look forward to many more years of continued partnership and success with this tremendous corporate citizen," he said, according to the news source.

Executives with the Metro Chamber said that the additional 150 positions will add approximately $16.6 million per year in goods and services to the local economy. The jobs are expected to include welders, machinists, assemblers, furnace operators, fuel heaters and oil coolers, among others, the company said.

The move is even more critical after the firm's parent company initially decided in February 2009 that it would be more efficient to combine it with its sister corporation in North Carolina. However, that decision was reversed in July 2009, ensuring the aerospace manufacturer would remain in Tulsa, according to the World.