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Unemployment rises in 64 of 77 Oklahoma counties

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission reported Wednesday that the jobless rate rose in 64 of the state's 77 counties from November to December.

The commission report said the highest unemployment rates were in southeastern Oklahoma. Latimer County had a 9.2 percent jobless figure, McCurtain County an 8.2 percent rate and Hughes County was at 8.1 percent.

The lowest rates were in northwestern Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Panhandle, where Beaver, Dewey, Ellis and Roger Mills counties each report a 2.8 percent unemployment rate.

Only Creek, Le Flore and Sequoyah counties in northeastern Oklahoma reported declines in unemployment rates during the reported period, while the figures in Beaver, Ellis, Blaine and Cleveland were unchanged from November to December.

Commission spokesman John Carpenter said the statewide unemployment rate for December will be released in a few weeks, likely in March.

Unemployment rose slightly in each of the state's three metropolitan statistical areas: from 4.7 to 4.8 percent in Oklahoma City; from 5.3 to 5.4 percent in Tulsa; and from 6.2 to 6.3 percent in Lawton.

The rates for those areas were virtually unchanged from December 2012, when they were 4.7 percent in Oklahoma City; 5.3 percent in Tulsa; and 6.3 percent in Lawton.

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