Region’s jobless rate rises again in July

For the second month in a row, the unemployment rate in Northeast Mississippi edged higher.
According to preliminary figures from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, the non-jobless rate for the 16-county region in July was 12.1 percent. That’s three-tenths of a point higher than June’s figure, but below the year-earlier rate of 12.5 percent.
And as it has been the case for more than two years, NEMS’s unemployment rate hit double digits for the 29th time in the past 30 months.
Statewide, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for July was 10.4 percent, unchanged from June, but up from 10.2 percent in July.
Non-seasonally adjusted figures do not take into account – and adjust for – seasonal trends in employment such as the school year. MDES provides only non-seasonally adjusted data for the county-by-county figures.
In Northeast Mississippi, 10 counties posted higher jobless rates in July than in June. Five recorded lower figures, while Calhoun County was unchanged.
As usual, Lafayette County had the region’s lowest rate at 9.4 percent, tying Simpson County for the state’s eighth-lowest rate.
Clay County, however, had the region’s and state’s highest jobless rate at 20.1 percent.
Statewide in July, some 6,500 non-farm jobs were added from a year ago. Private-sector payrolls rose by 7,900 from a year earlier, while government payrolls fell by 1,400. Manufacturing lost 5,700 jobs during the period.
Private service-providing jobs increased by 13,700 over the year. The biggest gainers were leisure-hospitality with 3,600, trade and transportation and utilities with 3,900. Two sectors added 3,200 jobs each – private educational-health services and professional-business services.
The number of initial unemployment insurance claims in July was 13,549, virtually unchanged from June. Continuing claims, however, rose to 160,470, compared to 136,293.

NEMS Daily Journal and The Associated Press

Click video to hear audio