Region’s jobless rate holds steady


The unemployment rate for Northeast Mississippi in April was 8.5 percent, marking the second consecutive month the rate fell below 10 percent.

The Mississippi Department of Employment Security released its county-level rates on Wednesday. Last week, MDES reported the state’s overall jobless rate in April was 9.1 percent, down from 9.4 percent in March.

MDES revised its county figures for March as well on Wednesday. Preliminary results released last month showed Northeast Mississippi’s jobless rate was 9 percent in March, but Wednesday’s figures showed the rate was actually 8.5 percent.

April’s decline in the state unemployment rate was caused primarily by fewer people looking for work. That was the case in Northeast Mississippi as well, with about 1,000 fewer people looking for jobs in April compared to March.

MDES figures estimates the region’s labor force – the number of people with jobs or actively seeking jobs – was 221,440 in April, compared to 220,490 a month earlier. The number of employed in April was 202,640, versus 201,700 in March.

Twelve of the region’s 16 counties posted jobless rates below 10 percent, with 11 of them at or below the state’s 9.1 percent unemployment.

Lafayette County, at 6 percent, recorded the lowest rate in the region, and it was fourth-lowest in the state. Clay County’s 17 percent jobless rate was the highest in the region and the second-highest in the state.

Also, MDES reported the number of initial unemployment insurance claims rose to 11,478 in April, compared to 9,488 in March.

Continuing claims in April totaled 91,792, more than 11,000 fewer than a month earlier.

NEMS Daily Journal