Oklahoma Expands Eligibility For Back-To-Work Cash Incentive

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission announced Thursday that it is expanding the eligibility for cash incentives to those who return to work.

Anyone working two part-time jobs totaling 32 or more hours per week will qualify for the $1,200 stipend, the OESC said.

The incentive announced in May by Gov. Kevin Stitt was to be available only to those working full-time for 32 or more hours weekly.

The OESC is offering virtual job fairs through the end of June and will host in-person job fairs in Tulsa on June 23 and Oklahoma City on June 25, according to Director Shelley Zumwalt.

“The agency is continuing to focus on providing benefits to those in need, while also focusing on connecting job seekers with employment opportunities through our re-employment services and upcoming career fairs,” Zumwalt said.

Stitt announced the program last month, along with a June 26 end to $300-a-week supplemental unemployment benefits to push workers back to employers who have said that some jobless workers were paid more in benefits than they would have in wages.

The state's unemployment rate stood at 4.3% in April, the latest report available, according to the OESC, down from 13% in April 2020.