By NEMS Daily Journal and The Associated Press
After edging lower for the first five months of the year, the unemployment rate for Northeast Mississippi rose in June.
According to preliminary figures from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, all but one of the region’s 16 counties, Marshall, posted higher jobless rates last month.
That led to a jump from 10.6 percent unemployment in May to 11.8 percent in June, the highest since the start of the year, when January’s rate was 11.9 percent.
High unemployment has saddled Northeast Mississippi for more than two years. June’s jobless rate was the 28th time in the past 29 months that it has been in double digits.
Statewide, MDES said 2,300 jobs disappeared from May to June.
The figures are not adjusted for seasonal factors and include the temporary end of school-related jobs.
It is important to note only national and state figures are seasonally adjusted. The county and regional rates are calculated using non-seasonally adjusted data, so the rise in Northeast Mississippi’s jobless rate can be attributed partially to using that unadjusted data provided by MDES.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the state’s unemployment rate in June was 10.3 percent, unchanged from May. But on an unadjusted basis, the state’s jobless figure jumped from 10.1 percent to 11 percent.
Still, jobs remain elusive for Northeast Mississippi There were some 2,500 fewer people on the job last month than in May.
However, compared to a year earlier – when the June jobless rate also was 11.8 percent – fewer than 189,000 were employed in the region. This year, more than 196,000 were working.
Marianne Hill, senior economist with the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, noted a hefty increase in the civilian work force both statewide and in the metropolitan areas.
The civilian work force consists of the employed, those officially listed as unemployed and receiving benefits and others who have either started or restarted their job hunts.
“You see a lot of people starting to look for jobs,” Hill said. “Unfortunately, job creation isn’t coming quickly enough now.”