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Lincoln County jobless rate takes a dip

The unemployment rate for Lincoln County in the month of September is down slightly, along with the available number of workers.

The county’s civilian work force was 14,780 in September, down by just 40 from August, according to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, with 820 persons reporting they were looking for work but were unable to find employment. That’s 60 fewer people looking for work. Accounting for the reduction in work force, the total is 20 additional persons looking for work unsuccessfully.

The change in numbers drops the county’s unemployment rate from 5.8 percent in July and 6 percent in August to 5.5 percent for September.

Lincoln County tied for 26th-lowest unemployment rate in the state with Marion, Tallahatchie and Yalobusha counties. Unemployed rates for neighboring counties ranged from a steady 6.5 in Copiah to the state’s highest rate of 15.7 in Jefferson County, down 2.2 percent. Other neighboring county rates remained close to previous numbers, with 6.7 in Pike, 7.2 in Amite, 7.5 in Franklin and 7.7 in Walthall. Lawrence County dropped from 7.6 percent to 6.8.

Thirty counties of Mississippi’s 82 were at or below the state average of 5.6 for September, though none were below the national average of 3.3 percent — 5.77 million unemployed from a labor force of more than 165 million, a decrease in unemployment by 430,000 persons since August.

Rankin County remains in the state’s top spot with the lowest jobless rate — 4.1 percent, steady from August — though 3,180 individuals of Rankin’s 76,850 said they could not find work. Jefferson County, though still anchored at bottom with its 15.7 percent unemployment badge, had only 310 unemployed — 50 less than the previous month — out of a labor force of 1,980.

Lincoln County’s 5.5 percent jobless rate is about average for Septembers of the previous five years, when its trend has been downward from 6.3 in 2014 to 4.2 in 2018. The county’s moving average is a labor force of 14,630 with 760 (5.2 percent) unemployed.

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.