Unemployment rate drops in the county

Published 11:18 pm Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Lincoln County’s unemployment rate has dropped to 4.6 percent recently, a good sign for the area. That’s the lowest percentage for the county since December 2000, when it was 4.5 percent. The highest percentage since 2000 was 11.2.

Nearly 14,000 Lincoln Countians are employed, according to Career Trends, an independent group that tracts labor force data from multiple sources. It shows 665 individuals are unemployed.

Any person who is at least 18 years of age, is not in the military and is available to work is part of the country’s labor force. The labor force includes both the employed and unemployed.

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The national unemployment rate for both February and March was 4.5 percent. Less than 5 percent is not a large percentage, but it translates to over 7.2 million real individuals.

Each of these 7.2 million persons indicated to reporting agencies that he or she was jobless, looking for a job and available for work.

Of the 7.2 million nationwide who were unemployed, approximately 69,000 live in Mississippi.

Mississippi’s labor force increased in March by 4,800 to 1,302,700, an increase of nearly 20,000 over March 2016.

Mississippi’s statewide jobless rate fell to 5 percent in March, tying the lowest level since the survey began in 1976. This percentage is down from 5.2 in February and 6 a year ago. The state has seen 5 percent 10 times, including six months in 1999 and three in 2000.

The number of people employed in Mississippi increased in March by 7,100 to a total of 1,237,000 — a rise of 30,000 over the past year. In March 2017, more people were working in Mississippi than any time since March 2008, and fewer people were unemployed in the state than any time since July 1999.

Lincoln County’s February percentage of 4.6 was smaller than the state’s average. Of 82 counties, 42 were at or below the state’s average. Rankin County had the lowest percentage, 3.1, and Jefferson and Issaquena counties were the only counties over 10 percent, with 14.5 and 16.8 percent, respectively.

Unemployment insurance statistics from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security show that 31 people filed new unemployment claims in February, in addition to the 305 who applied to continue receiving unemployment benefits, 70 less continued claims from the previous month.

MDES labor force data is compiled monthly and presented in estimates.