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Jobless rate down for Lincoln County

The number of unemployed people in Lincoln County dropped from 5 percent in April to 4.9 in May. That means 720 people said they were trying to find jobs but could not, out of a civilian work force of 14,670.

Statewide the percentage of unemployed people nudged back up one-tenth of a percent to 5 percent, having fallen to 4.9 in April after being at 5 percent in March. Approximately 62,800 were without jobs though 1.2 million were employed in May.

Nationally, the labor rate remained a second month at 3.6 in May, down from two months at 3.8 and 4.0 in January.

The Mississippi Department of Employment Security divides unemployment rates into four levels for the current month — 3.5-4.0 percent, 4.1-5.3 percent, 5.4-8.3 percent and 8.4-13.4 percent. Only seven of the state’s 82 counties were ranked into the lowest percentage level, including the nearly-constant no. 1 county of Rankin, at 3.6. Five counties sat squarely on the bottom, and typically are in this range: Jefferson, Wilkinson, Issaquena, Claiborne and Holmes.

Although Rankin County remained in its near-perpetual No. 1 slot with the lowest county rate at 3.6, MDES reports 2,740 were jobless in a labor force of 76,560 persons. Jefferson County’s 13 percent jobless rate, however, translates to only 260 unemployed people in a labor force of 1,970.

Lincoln County sat on the lower half of the unemployment rate across Mississippi, tied in 26th place with Leake, Lowndes and Marion counties.

In a five-year comparison in the month of May, Lincoln County’s 4.9 percent was higher than a year ago at 4.6, but was still below the previous years of 2014-2017, which ranged from 5.4 to 6.9 percent.

Monthly estimates of the labor force, employment, unemployment and unemployment rate are generated by the Local Area Unemployment Statistics Program, a cooperative effort between the Bureau of Labor Statistics and State Employment Security agencies. The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines an individual employed if they did any work at all for pay or profit during the survey week; this includes all part-time and temporary work as well as full time year round employment. Unemployed individuals are those who do not have a job, have actively looked for work during the past four weeks and are currently available for work. The sum of employed and unemployed produces the Civilian Labor Force.