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Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC)

History

Created by the Legislature in 1941, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) governs the operation of local offices throughout the state. These offices provide testing, counseling and placement services for job seekers; solicit job orders from employers; refer applicants to jobs; provide Computerized Job Banks for job information; and provide special services for veterans and disabled veterans, including job development, counseling and placement. OESC also collects Unemployment Insurance taxes from Oklahoma employers to finance payment of unemployment benefits to jobless workers. Unemployment Insurance Claims are filed by phone, through the Unemployment Insurance Service Centers, or via the internet. The OESC in cooperation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) manages the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey to provide current Labor Market Information to employers, job seekers, employment and guidance counselors and students to assist them in making informed decisions about their economic futures. Additionally, the OESC, through the Employment and Training Division, as the Governors’ designated administrative entity, has the administrative responsibility for providing administrative funds for local fiscal agents and service providers throughout the state of Oklahoma. These funds are used to respond to changes in the economy, prepare workers to meet the needs of the labor market, provide key labor market information and help businesses with the resources to remain globally competitive. The Agency is part of a national network of employment service agencies receiving administrative funding from the federal government and is governed by a five-member Commission appointed by the Governor with consent of the Senate.

Function

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) strives to provide employment security and in so doing promote the economic well-being of the state of Oklahoma. Every effort is made to establish a functional, statewide labor exchange to accommodate the needs of Oklahoma employers and residents. Through OESC local offices, the needs of employers and job-seeking individuals are facilitated by matching qualified workers with an employer's specific employment needs.

OESC avidly supports Oklahoma's employer community and is cognizant of their needs. Oklahoma Employer Advisory Councils have been established across the state to listen to the needs and concerns of employers. The councils play an active role in the community as vital information is disseminated to employers and feedback is gathered so that the delivery of service will continue to improve.

OESC offers many services to Oklahoma job-seekers and residents including referral to suitable employment opportunities, job training assistance to economically disadvantaged individuals and those dislocated due to business closings and layoffs and assessment of an individual's needs and referral to supportive agencies and programs.

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission is made up of three major divisions: Workforce Services, Unemployment Insurance, Economic Research and Analysis.

The Workforce Services Division maintains a statewide labor exchange between employers and job-seeking individuals as established by the Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933. Assistance may be provided to individuals in the form of referral to jobs, training assistance, referral to supportive services, or job development. The Workforce Services Division also administers the Title V older worker program where participants gain competitive job skills through paid part-time work-based training in anticipation of securing regular employment.  A Veterans Division provides service to Oklahoma veterans through Veterans Representatives located in the local office and outstationed at key service delivery points across the state. An employer's labor needs are met and satisfied through the selection and referral of qualified workers.

OESC maintains the Unemployment Insurance Program to pay unemployment benefits to qualified unemployed wage earners. OESC makes rigorous efforts to locate suitable employment opportunities and /or provide reemployment assistance so those individuals receiving unemployment benefits may reenter the workforce as quickly as possible. The Unemployment Insurance Division maintains the Unemployment Insurance program which was established through the Social Security Act of 1935. Unemployment benefits are paid as a weekly sum to qualified unemployed wage earners covered under the law. Funds for payment of these benefits are provided through a state tax paid by employers. Administrative funding for the program is provided through the federal FUTA taxes paid by employers for that purpose.

The Economic Research and Analysis Division is responsible for collecting, analyzing and disseminating a wide array of socio-economic data. The Division maintains the Bureau of Labor Statistic (BLS) programs such as Current Employment Statistics (CES), Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) and Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS). In addition to these programs, this Division also maintains a number of other Labor Market Information (LMI) programs such as the Occupational Wage Survey Reports, Occupational Projections and the Oklahoma Labor Market Review. These products and services are requested by a diverse group of customers who need or desire to track the economic health of the state of Oklahoma and its local areas.