Region’s unemployment returns to 11 percent

After falling below 11 percent for only the second time this year in September, the unemployment rate for Northeast Mississippi climbed back in October.
According to preliminary estimates by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, the jobless rate in the 16-county region rose to 11 percent last month. A year ago, it was 8.2 percent.
And for the eighth time this year, the region’s unemployment rate was at least 11 percent.
Statewide, unemployment reached 9.5 percent, matching the national figure. The state jobless rate was 8.9 percent in September.
In Northeast Mississippi, only Marshall County recorded a lower rate in October than a month earlier. Statewide, only five counties posted lower rates.
Lee County was up to 10.1 percent from 9.9 percent.
The labor force – the number of people with jobs or actively seeking unemployment – grew in October to 215,010, up from 214,730.
The number of people employed also rose, from 192,380 to 193,330, but not enough to offset the ranks of the unemployed, which grew from 22,350 to 23,680.
Clay County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rat at 19 percent. Rankin County in central Mississippi had the lowest rate at 6.3 percent.
MDES said all but five counties in the state saw October unemployment rise.
Of the 82 counties statewide, 55 had double-digit jobless rates in October including 13 in Northeast Mississippi.
Lafayette County’s 7.5 percent was the lowest rate in Northeast Mississippi and the sixth-lowest in the state.
MDES said the industry sectors registering the largely monthly job losses statewide were construction and leisure and hospitality.

Contact Dennis Seid at (662) 678-1578 or dennis.seid@djournal.com.

NE Mississippi unemployment
The jobless rates for the region’s 16 counties and month-to-month change:
County Oct. Sept. Change
Alcorn 11.4 11.3 +0.1
Benton 13.3 12.7 +0.6
Calhoun 12.3 9.7 +2.6
Chickasaw 14.2 13.3 +0.9
Clay 19.0 17.9 +1.1
Itawamba 11.5 9.7 +1.8
Lafayette 7.5 6.9 +0.6
Lee 10.1 9.9 +0.2
Marshall 10.9 11.3 -0.4
Monroe 14.2 13.8 +0.4
Oktibbeha 8.6 8.1 +0.5
Pontotoc 10.0 8.8 +1.2
Prentiss 12.0 11.6 +0.4
Tippah 13.7 12.6 +1.1
Tishomingo 11.1 10.2 +0.9
Union 9.6 8.9 +0.7
• Region unemployment rate/last month: 11.0/10.4
• Total employed/last month: 193,330/192,380
• Total unemployed/last month: 23,680/22,350

NEMISS October unemployment 2005-2009
• 2005 7.3 percent
• 2006 7.4 percent
• 2007 7.2 percent
• 2008 8.2 percent
•2009 11.0 percent

Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal