Region's unemployment drops a little

Unemployment rates
The jobless rates for the region’s counties and month-to-month change:
County April March. Change
Alcorn 11.8 12.4 -0.6
Benton 13.3 15.5 -2.2
Calhoun 11.4 11.4 NC
Chickasaw 12.8 13.9 -1.1
Clay 15.0 16.0 -1.0
Itawamba 10.3 10.9 -0.6
Lafayette 6.5 6.6 -0.1
Lee 9.9 10.9 -1.0
Marshall 11.6 12.4 -0.8
Monroe 13.1 13.7 -0.6
Oktibbeha 6.6 7.3 -0.7
Pontotoc 8.8 9.8 -1.0
Prentiss 13.0 13.2 -0.2
Tippah 12.9 14.9 -2.0
Tishomingo 12.6 12.6 NC
Union 9.2 10.8 -1.6
* Total employed: 195,980/195,980
* Total unemployed: 22,760/24,650

Fourteen of the 16 counties in Northeast Mississippi posted lower unemployment rates in April, dropping the overall jobless rate for the region to 10.4 percent.
For the first three months of the year, the rate was at least 11 percent.
According to estimates by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, the ranks of the unemployed in the region decreased from 24,650 in March to 22,760 in April.
The number of employed was unchanged – again, according to MDES figures – at 195,980.
Meanwhile, the region’s labor force – the number of people employed or seeking employment – dropped from 220,630 in March to 218,740.
Northeast Mississippi’s April jobless rate is higher than the state average of 8.6 percent, a drop of eight-tenths of a percentage point from a month earlier.
The national jobless rate was 8.6 percent in April. Mississippi’s rate in April 2008 was 5.6 percent; in Northeast Mississippi it was 6.4 percent.
MDES said construction and hospitality industries saw the largest gains in unemployment.
Thirty-five of the state’s 82 counties posted double-digit jobless rates, including 11 of the 16 counties in Northeast Mississippi.
Lee County, the region’s economic hub, saw its unemployment rate drop a full percentage point, to 9.9 percent.

Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal