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Coronavirus multiples April unemployment rates

Numbers for Lincoln County nearly triple, approach nationwide jobless rate of 14.4%

Lincoln County had an unemployment rate of 13% for the month of April, up from 4.8% in March and 4.9% in April 2019.

The county’s unemployment rate mirrors that of the state and country for April, as jobs across the nation were severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 13% total represents 1,730 persons from a labor force of 13,320. Lincoln County’s 12-month moving average is 6.2%, or 900 persons unemployed, from a labor force of 14,520. Lincoln County’s April average unemployment rate 2015-2019 was 5%.

Mississippi’s non-seasonally adjusted rate of unemployment for April 2020 was 15.6% — an increase of 10.8% from March’s 4.8. Compared to April 2019’s rate of 4.7%, the rate increased 10.9 percentage points. The number of unemployed increased 125,500 over the course of the month — ending with 202,200 fewer people employed than in March.

The nation’s rate for April was 14.4%, rising 9.9 percentage points from 4.5% in March and 11.1 points from 3.3% in April 2019.

Fifty counties in Mississippi posted unemployment rates less than the state average of 15.6%. Smith and Covington counties posted the lowest rates, at 7.6 and 8.9, respectively. Tunica and Chickasaw counties posted the highest rates at 31.7 and 31.4%, respectively. Rankin — typically the county with the lowest rate of unemployment — posted a rate of 11.1%.

Issaquena County, typically with one of the highest rates of unemployment monthly, posted a rate of 10.7% for April, placing it tied for 11th lowest rate, with Jasper County.

Counties adjacent to Lincoln posted unemployment rates of 11.7 to 19.6% — Copiah, 11.7; Amite, 11.9; Franklin, 12.2; Pike, 12.6; Walthall, 12.7; Lawrence, 13.4; and Jefferson, 19.6.

In April 2019, 396 Lincoln County residents had unemployment insurance claims. For March 2020, that number was 849. For April, the number had increased to 4,541 — an increase of 535% over March’s claims, and almost 1,147% over one year ago. Regular unemployment insurance benefits paid in April for Lincoln County claims totaled $538,594. Benefits paid for all unemployment programs — including federal programs — totaled $2.57 million.

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.