Region’s jobless rate remains relatively low

1STOCK Computer Job Hunting EmploymentCHICKASAW COUNTY – The local job market held steady as Chickasaw County continued to notch double-digit unemployment in May which is traditionally a strong hiring month in agriculture.

Chickasaw County had a 10.3 unemployment rate in May with the state average being 8.0 and the national average being 6.1. Northeast Mississippi posted one of the lowest unemployment rate in six years in April, but that figure rose slightly in May.

Still, the 8 percent jobless rate – compared to 7.2 percent in April – is the second-lowest number since November 2008.

And it marked the 11th consecutive month the region recorded a collective unemployment rate under 10 percent.

From 2009-2011, the region was saddled with 10 percent or higher unemployment for 35 of the 36 months.

The 16-county region saw its labor force grow in May due to the seasonal impact of schools letting out for the summer.

Calhoun County had a 9 percent unemployment rate with Webster and Monroe sporting 11.2 and 10.9 respectively. Pontotoc County had a 7.7 percent jobless rate.

County labor data is not adjusted to account for seasonal changes, while state and national numbers are.

On a non-adjusted basis, Mississippi’s unemployment rate 8 percent in May, up from 6.8 percent in April. A year earlier, the May figure was 8.9 percent.

Adjusted numbers put the state jobless rate at 7.7 percent, a slight increase from 7.5 percent in April, but down a full percentage point from a year earlier.

The national unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.3 percent on an adjusted basis.

Across Northeast Mississippi, Lafayette County (6.3 percent) recorded the region’s lowest jobless rate, good for eighth-lowest in the state. Two spots behind was Union County (6.5 percent), followed by Alcorn County (6.9 percent) another couple of spots down.

Clay County (16.2 percent) saw its rate rise from 14.7 percent, making it the highest in the region and the third-highest statewide.

All 16 counties saw their rates rise from April to May, and the region had four counties with double-digit unemployment rates. However, each county posted lower rates compared to a year earlier.

Through the first five months of the year, the region’s jobless rate is averaging 8 percent. For the same period in 2013, it averaged 9.8 percent.

Statewide, initial unemployment benefits claims shot up to more than 13,000 in May from 8,600 in April. But the figure is about 3,200 less than a year earlier.

 

Jobless Rate

The Chickasaw County annual average unemployment rate for 2013 and through June 2014 as compiled by the Mississippi Department of Employment and Security.

 

2013

Jan. – 13.4

Feb. – 12.1

Mar. – 10.8

April – 10.3

May – 11.7

June – 12.7

July – 11.8

Aug. – 11.9

Sept. – 11.4

Oct. – 11.5

Nov. – 11.1

Dec. – 9.9

2013 Avg. – 11.5

 

2014

Jan. – 10.5

Feb. – 10.3

Mar. – 10.4

April – 9.1

May – 10.3

2014 Avg. – 10.1

 

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