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Congressman Cole Applauds New Job Numbers, Oklahoma's Unemployment Decline

June 18, 2004
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole applauded new job numbers that show that Oklahoma's unemployment rate dropped by 0.5 percentage points over the last month. Oklahoma's unemployment rate is now 4.3 percent, which is 1.3 percent lower than the nationwide unemployment rate. 

"Oklahoma's unemployment rate has dropped faster over the past month than almost any other state. This is very good news. The nation's unemployment rate is dropping steadily and Oklahoma is leading the way," Congressman Tom Cole said.

In Oklahoma, 5,700 jobs were created in May. Since the beginning of this year, 22,600 jobs were created in Oklahoma. Nationwide, the economy has posted steady job gains for each of the last nine months – creating more than 1.4 million new jobs since August. 

"These jobs figures and other recent data show America’s economy is strong and getting stronger," Congressman Tom Cole said. " While there is still more to be done to keep our economy moving forward, these new jobs show that progress is being made and the President's Jobs and Growth Package passed last year is working."

The national unemployment rate stood at 5.6% in May – down 0.7 percentage point from a peak of 6.3% in June 2003 – and below the average of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.

There are encouraging signs on the horizon for the manufacturing industry, which has been hardest hit in recent years. International exports from Oklahoma increased 8.8 percent in 2003. Manufacturing exports, which made up 91 percent of Oklahoma's total international exports in 2003, increased 9.3 percent.

"Now is not the time to change what is working.  America needs to go forward with President Bush’s pro-growth policies that have jump-started this economy and are fueling the creation of new jobs," Congressman Tom Cole said.