By CHRIS WILSON
Monroe County continues to experience double-digit unemployment, according to figures released by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) for December.
Monroe County’s unemployment rate is 10.9 percent, up nearly a whole percentage point from November’s 10.0 percent.
The county’s unemployment rate ranks the county 67th out of 82 counties. Most of the state’s counties experienced higher jobless rates in December, the last month reported by the MDES. The lowest rates of unemployment in the state are in Lafayette and Rankin counties at 4.8 percent each, Lamar County at 5.0 percent and Jones County at 5.1 percent. The highest rates of unemployment in the state are in Holmes County at 16.8 percent, Tunica and Noxubee counties at 15.4 percent each.
Statewide the unemployment rate stands at 7.6 percent for the month of December, 1 percent higher than the month prior. Twenty-two counties posted double-digit rates of unemployment for the month.
The MDES said the higher jobless rates for December are typical of what was reported across the country. The largest employment losses in the state over the month were in Professional amp& Business Services and the Manufacturing sectors.
The MDES predicts, based upon previous trends, that January jobless data will probably be worse than December’s, especially as holiday part-time jobs will no longer be factored in.
Anyone making an unemployment claim in Monroe County can do so at the Amory office five days a week. The MDES office is located upstairs in the Monroe County Government Complex on Highway 25 North in Amory.