• 46°

Lincoln County jobless rate edges higher

Lincoln County’s civilian work force was 14,720 in October, down 60 from September, according to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. The work force has dropped by 370 since the July 1, the beginning of the fiscal year.

In October, 840 persons said they were looking for employment but were unable to find work. That’s 5.7 percent of the work force. In September, that number was 820, or 5.5 percent. In July and August, it was 880, or 5.8 and 6 percent, respectively. This means 370 individuals have left the work force — either through becoming full-time students, joining the military, moving away from Lincoln County or through death — and only 40 unemployed persons have found employment.

While not the highest rate for October over the past five years, 5.7 percent for the county is near its highest over those months, 5.9 percent. October 2018 and 2017 saw rates of 4.1 and 4.2.

Statewide, the civilian work force is 1,283,500, down by approximately 6,000, though up by more than 13,000 from one year prior. With 66,400 people unemployed, the Mississippi unemployment rate was 5.2 for October. Across the U.S., 5.51 million people were unemployed out of a work force of 164.57 million — a 3.3 percent rate.

For the Copiah-Lincoln Community College District, the unemployment rate was 6.2 percent, up from 4.9 one year ago. This area covers Lincoln, Copiah, Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, Lawrence and Simpson counties.

Rankin County remains in the top seat for lowest jobless rate for any of the Magnolia State’s 82 counties, though it is joined in October by Lamar County — each had a rate of 3.8 percent. Twenty-seven counties had a rate of the statewide percentage of 5.2 or less.

Lincoln, typically in the lower third of counties for joblessness, moved to 40th, tied with Marshall, Perry and Stone counties. Claiborne and Jefferson held down the bottom spots with 10.8 and 13.8 percent, respectively.

Rankin had 2,910 persons unemployed out of a labor force of 76,780. Lamar had 1,320 unemployed from a labor force of 31,370. Claiborne and Jefferson counties each had only 330 unemployed — from a labor force of 2,980 in Claiborne and a 2,000-person labor force in Jefferson.

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.