Oklahoma City_Oklahoma's unemployment rate rose to 5.6% in January, a strong increase from a year ago but still well below the national rate.
State economist Lynn Gray says Oklahoma is feeling the effects of the national economic downturn and more than 7,000 people joined the jobless ranks in the state between December and January.
Some states, including California and Michigan, have unemployment rates that have edged up into the double digits. The national rate is expected to exceed 10% by year's end. Oklahoma's rate in January of this year was 1.8% higher than the rate reported for January 2008. Job losses were highest in the manufacturing sector.