County jobless rate lowest in years, second-lowest in region

Union County’s unemployment rate for April this year was 5.5 percent, second-best in the 16-county region and well below the state average of 7.5 percent.

According to published reports, this represents the lowest rate for the region in about six years. During and before that time jobless rates often approached or exceeded 10 percent.

Union County’s latest rate compares favorably to the April rate a year ago of 6.9 percent and the jobless rate for March this year of 6.3 percent.

Only Lafayette County had a lower regional rate than Union, at 4.9 percent. That county has historically reported among the lowest in the state for years. Highest was Clay County with a three-digit jobless rate of 14.7 percent.

State employment officials note that counties are always going to have some unemployment at any time as people routinely change jobs or enter or leave the workforce for various reasons.

Statewide, Rankin County had the lowest unemployment with 4.2 percent while Issaquena was high at 16.3 percent