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Jobless rate continues to decline

Lincoln County’s jobless rate for August was 5.7 percent, down from July’s 6.1 percent.

Those figures are from the latest data released Wednesday by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

The jobless rate is the percentage of the total labor force that is unemployed but actively seeking employment and is willing to work.

MDES calculates the unemployment rate by surveying how many people are seeking a job. This includes people who look for work sporadically or who work part-time because they cannot find a full-time job.

Lincoln County ranked the same as Forrest, Lauderdale, Marshall and Tallahatchie counties, according to MDES. The state’s lowest jobless rate was Rankin County, at 3.8 percent. The highest was Jefferson County, at 15.2 percent.

Fifty-six of the state’s 82 counties had a jobless rate equal to or greater than the state rate of 5.7 percent. Only 12 counties had a rate less than the national rate of 5 percent.

Lincoln County had 13,690 employed people in August, out of a labor force of 14,520. The 5.7 percent jobless rate translates to 830 people unemployed. In August 2015, the county had 13,700 people employed from a labor force of 14,550. The jobless rate was 5.8 percent or 850 people.

The number of unemployed Mississippians decreased in July to 72,200.

The August number of unemployed Mississippians is 11,500 lower than a month earlier in July when the number was 83,700, and 3,400 lower than a year ago in August 2015 when the number was 75,600.

The number of people working in Mississippi decreased in August by 7,500 to 1,199,200; however, for the year since August 2015, employment in our state posted an increase of 6,300.

The labor force decreased in August by 19,200 to 1,271,400. However, over the year since August 2015, the labor force increased by 2,900 as more Mississippians found jobs.