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Requirements for return to work incentive expanded as unemployment goes up in Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission reported an increase in initial and continued...
The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission reported an increase in initial and continued unemployment claims Thursday.
Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 1:41 PM CDT
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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KSWO) - The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission is reporting an increase in initial and continued unemployment claims.

For the week ending May 29, initial unemployment claims reached 12,722.... up from 8,360 the week before.

Continued unemployment claims, meanwhile, reached 33,447. That’s up from the week before when there were 32,708 continued claims.

The agency has also updated the requirements for its return to work incentive. That incentive offers $1,200 to those on unemployment who return to the workforce. The eligibility requirements have now been extended to those who work two part-time jobs that equal 32 hours or more with an Oklahoma employer for six consecutive weeks. Before, it was only available for people who worked a full-time job of 32 hours a week or more.

OESC executive director Shelley Zumwalt explained why the requirements were updated.

“We made this change to ensure that we can accommodate as many individuals as possible as they rejoin the workforce,” said Zumwalt. “Claimants will have more opportunities to connect with potential employers at our upcoming career fairs on June 23 and June 25 where employers are looking to fill both full-time and part-time positions. I encourage any claimant in the Tulsa and Oklahoma City areas to attend these in-person career fairs.”

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