The unemployment rate for the Ada area dropped below 4% for the first time since December 2008. The unemployment rate began to rise in late 2008 and early 2009 due to the national recession. In 2009, the unemployment rate peaked reaching a high of 6.3%, and began declining slowly during the next several months. The April 2011 unemployment rate is 3.9%, which is 2 point below the rate from January (5.9%) of this year. This indicated a significant drop in the number of unemployed workers in the area and could indicate the end of the recession’s local impact. The size of the labor force for the Ada area continues to rise; it has increased by nearly 200 employees since the beginning of 2011. Oklahoma’s unemployment rate also continues to fall, which may be an indicator that the state is preparing to leave the national recession as well.
Ada has been fortunate to not have been impacted significantly by the national recession for an extended period of time. This can be attributed to the quality and diversity of the area’s employers. Pontotoc County has more employers with 500 or more employees that any county in the region. Pontotoc County is also fortunate to have the highest percentage in the region, 90.2%, of workers that live and work within the county. This reduces the impact rising gas prices can have on employee attendance. Pontotoc County is one of only 3 counties in the region that has a positive commuting pattern, which means more employees commute into Pontotoc County for employment than commute out.
While the population of Ada is around 17,000 and Pontotoc County is 36,400, the April Workforce for the Local Labor Market Area is 34,500. This is a larger workforce than Duncan, Ponca City and Bartlesville which are each considerably larger in population that Ada. The Ada Labor Marketing is nearly the size of Stillwater’s.
|Size of Local Labor Market|