Fewer looking for work in Lincoln County

Published 4:57 pm Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Lincoln County’s unemployment rate stays steady, though the number of unemployed has dropped.

For the month of January, the county’s labor rate — the percentage of people who said they were looking for work but were unable to find employment — remained at 5.6 percent. In December and November, that represented 820 people looking for work. The work force for the county has dropped to 14,380, however, with 5.6 percent now representing 800 individuals jobless.

Mississippi’s civilian labor force for January was 1,258,500, down by 1,000 from one year ago, but down by approximately 21,500 from December. The state’s unemployment rate was 5.3 percent for the month, representing 67,200 people out of work — down from Jan. 2019’s 5.6 percent (70,200 people), but up from December’s 5.2 percent (66,900 people).

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The nation’s civilian labor force was 163.5 million for January, down by approximately 500,000 from December and up by more than 1.4 million since one year ago. The January unemployment rate of 4 percent — representing 6.5 million people — is up from December’s 3.4 percent (5.5 million), though down from 4.4 percent one year ago (7.1 million people).

Rankin and Lamar counties sat at the top of the heap for January, with unemployment rates of 3.9 and 4.1 percent, respectively. Humphreys and Jefferson rounded out the bottom with 12.4 and 16.7, respectively.

Lincoln County camped once again near the middle with 5.6 percent, just shy of the state’s average, and tied with Leake, Marion, Marshall and Tishomingo counties.

Counties surrounding Lincoln had rates from 6.3 percent (Copiah, Lawrence and Pike) up to Jefferson’s 16.7 percent. Franklin and Walthall counties had rates of 7 percent, while Amite County’s was 7.3.

Rankin County’s work force is 75,180. It’s low unemployment rate of 3.9 percent equals 2,910 people searching for unemployment. Jefferson’s high rate of 16.7 percent, however, equals 340 persons searching for jobs out of a work force of 2,020.

Hinds County had 5,200 people unemployed — the largest physical number of people out of work in Mississippi in one county for January — but the county’s rate is 4.9 percent, due to its large work force of 105,400.

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.