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County unemployment rate inches downward

Lincoln County’s unemployment rate dropped slightly in October to 5.6 percent, according to preliminary statistics released by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. This puts the county within one-tenth of the state average, which sits at 5.7 percent.

The unemployment rate covers those who are unemployed but who are actively seeking employment. 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.

Out of 82 total counties, 29 have an unemployment rate equal to or less than the state average. Rankin County has the lowest rate at 4.1 percent, while Jefferson has the highest at 11.4 percent. Lincoln county is ranked 25th in the state, along with Harrison, Marshall and Tate Counties, which had the same unemployment rate.

Out of all the counties in Mississippi, only seven were at or below October’s national unemployment rate of 4.7 percent.

Lincoln County had 13,740 employed people in October, out of a labor force of 14,550. The 5.6 percent jobless rate translates to 810 people unemployed. In October 2015, the county had 13,640 people employed from a labor force of 14,510. The jobless rate was 6.0 percent or 870 people.

There were about 73,600 unemployed Mississippians in October, out of a labor force of 1,292,600. The workforce rose slightly from September, where the revised statistics report 1,279,600 in the labor force and 73,800 unemployed.

The workforce has also risen slightly from last, year. In October 2015, MDES reported that out of 1,283,200 in the workforce, 79,900 were unemployed.

Surrounding counties

Copiah — 6.4 percent

Lawrence — 6.7 percent

Walthall — 7.3 percent

Pike — 7.0 percent

Amite — 7.2 percent

Franklin — 6.4 percent

Jefferson — 11.4 percent