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Jobless rate decreases in January

After an increase in December, Lincoln County’s unemployment rate declined in January, according to the most recent data from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

January’s rate dropped to 6.7 percent, below the state average of 7 percent. It is still above the U.S. average of 5.3 percent.

The lowest unemployment rate was in Rankin County at 4.7. The highest was in Issaquena County at 22.4.

Although the rate dropped in Lincoln County, the actual number of unemployed residents increased. The number of unemployed in Lincoln County was 980. The labor force was 14,560 strong. Mississippi Department of Employment services reports that as of March 10, there are 204 job openings in Lincoln County.

January saw an increase from December in new unemployment claims and a decrease in unemployment claims dollars. Unemployment claims are up from January 2015.

The claims rate is part of a bigger trend that shows better numbers across the board from 2015 to 2016. In January 2015, the unemployment rate for the U.S. was 6.1, for Mississippi it was 7.4 and for Lincoln County it was 7.

Not only has the unemployment rate decreased, but the labor force has increased. The labor force in January 2015 in Lincoln County was 13,380 with 930 unemployed.

Over the past 12 months, Lincoln County has averaged an unemployment rate of 6.1 percent with a labor force of 14,000. On average, 850 people have been unemployed.

For more information, visit mdes.ms.gov.