from staff reports

Cherokee County's unemployment rate increased for the month of May, compared to April figures.

According to data released by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, Cherokee County's jobless rate for May was 3.8 percent - higher than the previous month, but lower than during the same time last year.

Cherokee County, which was ranked 62nd in the state, reported a labor force of 18,838 in May - an increase of 304 from the previous month.

The number of people claiming unemployment in May was 721, while the number cited in April was 589.

Employment for May in Cherokee County was 118,117, an increase of 172 from April.

May jobless rates for surrounding counties include: 3.9 percent in Adair County; 3.5 percent in Delaware County; 3.0 percent in Mayes County; 3.7 percent in Muskogee County; 3.7 percent in Sequoyah Count; and 2.9 percent in Wagoner County.

Statewide in May, Latimer County had the highest county unemployment rate of 5.2 percent. McIntosh County had the second-highest rate for the month, with 5.1 percent, while McCurtain County had the third-highest with 5.0 percent. Cimarron County claimed the lowest county unemployment rate of 1.6 percent.