Part-time workers in Oklahoma can now receive a $1,200 stipend if they return to work.

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Part-time workers in Oklahoma can now receive a $1,200 stipend if they return to work.

According to the Associated Press, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) stated that it is increasing eligibility for monetary incentives as part of its Back to Work Initiative.

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt unveiled the initiative in May, promising a $1,200 cash stipend to the first 20,000 persons who returned to work full-time for 32 hours a week.

In a press statement, OESC Executive Director Shelley Zumwalt said, “The agency is continuing to focus on delivering benefits to those in need, while simultaneously focusing on connecting job seekers with employment prospects through our re-employment services and forthcoming career fairs.”

See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.

The OESC announced on Thursday that anyone working two part-time jobs totaling 32 or more hours per week is now eligible for this program.

“We made this change to make sure we can accommodate as many people as possible as they return to work,” Zumwalt explained.

She went on to say that the state is “hoping” that federal unemployment benefits would be phased out by the end of June, and that “we will start to see decreases in the state’s unemployment numbers.”

According to Zumwalt, the OESC is hosting virtual job fairs through the end of June and in-person job fairs in Tulsa on June 23 and Oklahoma City on June 25.

Stitt launched the initiative last month, along with the termination of $300-a-week supplemental unemployment benefits on June 26 to encourage people to return to work. Some jobless people have been paid more in benefits than they would have earned in wages, according to Stitt.

According to the OESC, the state’s unemployment rate was 4.3 percent in April, down from 13 percent in April 2020, according to the most recent report available.

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