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Labor rate is up, but so is work force

Lincoln County’s jobless rate was higher for the month of June than the previous few months, but remains in its usual spot comparatively to other Mississippi counties.

The number of unemployed people in the county rose from May’s 4.9 percent to 6 percent in June — the same percentage as Jones, Marion and Monroe counties. This means 890 people in Lincoln County reported that they were actively searching for employment but could not secure a job.

The county’s average jobless rate for the past 12 months is 4.9. The state’s average is 4.8 and the average across the United States is 3.8 percent.

The civilian work force for Lincoln county has risen from 14,670 to 14,910 — an increase of 240 eligible workers. The number of unemployed people in the county rose from 720 to 890 people — an increase of 170. That means 70 people new to the work force were able to find employment.

Across the state the labor rate remained at 5 percent, as did the number of unemployed at 62,800. Nationally, the rate rose one-tenth of a percentage to 3.7, reflecting an increase of 87,000 unemployed people.

MDES divides unemployment rates into four levels for the current month — 4.3-4.9 percent, 5-6.5 percent, 6.6-9.6 percent and 9.7-17.2 percent. As has been the case for recent months, seven of the state’s 82 counties were ranked into the lowest percentage level, including the nearly-constant no. 1 county of Rankin, at 4.3, up from 3.7 previously. The same five counties that have repeatedly sat squarely on the bottom remain there: Jefferson, Wilkinson, Issaquena, Claiborne and Holmes.

In a five-year comparison in the month of June, Lincoln County’s 6 percent was higher than last June’s 5.6 percent, but was still lower than the previous years of 2014-2017, which ranged from 6.3 to 7.4 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.