An analysis by WalletHub shows Oklahoma’s unemployment rate is rebounding faster than other states.
WalletHub compared states’ unemployment numbers from just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019 with the most-recent available numbers for each state.
Oklahoma’s December 2021 unemployment rate was 2.3%, an improvement of 49.1% from December 2020, when the state’s unemployment rate was 5.3%.
The only two states that performed better than Oklahoma were Nebraska and Utah.
Some of the most resilient industries and businesses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic were online retailers, supermarkets, drugstores and online delivery services, according to analysts.
“The grocery workers, UFCW, and the grocery industry have taken on providing food and other products by quickly amplifying or implementing delivery services and making changes that enable social distancing in stores,” said Ariana Levinson, a professor of law at the University of Louisville. “Online companies are providing many products that would have previously been purchased in person.”
Analysts said service jobs that require face-to-face interactions such as hotels and restaurants suffered. They predicted a slow recovery in those industries that could take years.
Competency with social media, e-commerce and computer engineering are predicted to be highly sought-after job skills post-pandemic, according to analysts.
“Computer and digital skills will be important as we weave more of our economic and social lives into the cloud,” said Peter Philips, an economics professor at the University of Utah. “Imagination will be an important skill as we will need people to re-imagine our lives and our work and social interactions in ways that are both safe and inter-personally rewarding.”
States that ranked lowest for unemployment recovery were New York, New Jersey, Nevada and California.
This article was originally posted on Oklahoma unemployment rate rebounding faster than other states