Chickasaw employment rate rises

1STOCK Economic News Pen graphicHOUSTON – Chickasaw County’s unemployment rate dropped under 10 percent in November and hinted at a stronger job market at year-end.

Chickasaw County’s unemployment rate stood at 9.6 percent and was done from 10.5 percent in October and 12.3 percent a year ago.

While many retail employers hire additional workers to help with the Christmas shopping season that boost is often offset by a slow down in the agriculture sector. The most recent numbers indicate there has been a boost in hiring in the local manufacturing sector.

Rankin County’s 4.6 percent remained the lowest jobless rate in the state. Clay County’s 16.1 percent remained the highest.

Unemployment rates fell from October to November in all but one of Mississippi’s 82 counties, according to figures released by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

Surrounding county unemployment rates were:

6.6 percent – Pontotoc County.

7.2 percent – Oktibbeha County.

7.4 percent – Itawamba County.

7.5 percent – Calhoun County.

7.6 percent – Lee County.

8.5 percent – Choctaw County.

9.7 percent – Webster County.

10.6 percent – Monroe County.

16.1 percent — Clay County.

Lafayette County had the lowest unemployment rate in Northeast Mississippi at 5.4 percent. The state’s metropolitan areas of DeSoto and Madison counties had rates of 5.3 percent each.

Chickasaw County’s estimated labor force was 7,660 last month with 6,920 of those with jobs and 740 job seekers out of work.

The county’s job market did shrink from a year ago when the labor force was estimated at 7,870.

Seasonally adjusted, the state’s jobless rate fell to 8.5 percent in November from October’s 9 percent. November 2011’s rate was 10.6 percent. Last months numbers were the lowest since February 2009.

Statewide, more people found work even while fewer people were looking, cutting the pool of unemployed people to about 113,000. That’s down 7,000 from October and well below November 2011’s level of 143,000.

Weakness in summer job numbers led economists to warn Mississippi had slipped back into recession, but growth appears to have restarted in September.

A separate survey of employer payrolls shows nonfarm employees rose for the third straight month and was above the November 2011 total. That’s the first time in 2012 payrolls have risen year over year.

Nationally, new orders sent to factories did not rise in November, as was expected, but a survey of planned business spending was up, according to a U.S. Commerce Department released last week. This trend may be an indicator businesses were either waiting on a federal “fiscal cliff” budget decision or believe the national economy will move up in 2013.


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