By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal
Jobs continue to be elusive across Northeast Mississippi, which posted its 15th straight month of double-digit unemployment.
According to preliminary figures from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, the 16-county region recorded a 12.6 percent unemployment rate in June.
That’s down slightly from May’s revised figure of 12.9 percent, but it also marked the 17th time in the past 18 months that the region recorded a double-digit jobless rate.
Thirteen of the region’s counties in June had lower rates than in May.
In June 2009, the jobless rate was 12.2 percent for the region.
The actual number of employed last month was relatively unchanged – 181,250 – compared to 181,330 in May, but the number of unemployed grew from 24,800 to 26,020.
And during that span, new claims for unemployment benefits grew by 2,693 in the region. All told, nearly 24,200 people continued to receive benefits.
So far this year, Northeast Mississippi has averaged 12.7 percent unemployment; for the past 12 months, it has averaged 12.3 percent.
Statewide, the jobless rate in June was 11 percent, down from 11.4 percent in May. Job losses were experienced mainly in educational and health services and government, prompted by the end of school, MDES said.
Nationally, the rate for June was 9.5 percent, versus 9.7 percent a month earlier.