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More workers, fewer unemployed in Lincoln County

Lincoln County’s labor force has grown and the number of unemployed has dropped for April.

The county reported a labor force of 14,670 people in April, up from 14,600 in March, and a drop in unemployment from 810 in March to 770 in April, according to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. The county’s unemployment rate was 5.3%, with only 16 counties reporting lower percentages for the month.

In April 2020, as many jobs were negatively affected by the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, Lincoln County had 1,750 unemployed people out of a smaller workforce of 14,080.

Both Mississippi and the nation reported the lowest unemployment percentages in the past 12 months — the state at 5.8% and the United States at 5.7%. Mississippi reported 74,200 people unemployed from a labor force of 1.27 million. The available labor pool has grown by 10,000 since March and by 60,000 over the previous year. The number of unemployed individuals has dropped by 3,900 people since March and is down from 186,800 in April 2020 (15.4%).

The US has reported 160.37 million people in its labor force, down by 20,000 from March but up by more than 4 million from one year ago. More than 9.22 million people said they were unemployed but looking for work in April, down from 9.9 million in March and from 22.5 million in April 2020 (14.4%).

Rankin County once again reported the lowest percentage of Mississippi counties for unemployment — 3.7% in April, or 2,830 unemployed from a labor force of 75,680.

Jefferson County had the highest percentage, though its 16% reflected only 320 unemployed people, from a work force of 2,010.

Hinds County has the largest population in the state. In April, 6,750 were unemployed, but constituted only 6.4% of the county’s work force of 104,620.

DeSoto County is the next largest county in Mississippi. In April, 4,250 were unemployed, making up only 4.6% of the county’s 93,050 labor force.

Issaquena County is the state’s least-populated county, and typically has one of the highest unemployment percentage rates. With a labor force of only 350 people and 30 of those unemployed, it’s percentage of unemployment for April is 9%. March’s rate was 11.3% and 10.5% in April 2020. Eight of the state’s 82 counties had higher percentages of unemployment for April than did Issaquena.

There are 10 Planning and Development Districts in the state. Lincoln County and the majority of its neighbors are in the Southwest Mississippi PDD. This PDD had an overall unemployment rate of 7.8% for its 10 counties — Lincoln, Lawrence, Franklin, Adams, Wilkinson, Amite, Pike, Walthall, Jefferson and Claiborne.

The highest unemployment rate among the districts was the South Delta, with 8.7%. The lowest was Three Rivers — comprising eight counties in northeast Mississippi — with 4.9%.

Counties bordering Lincoln County ranged from 6.7% in Copiah to 7.5% in Amite. Franklin had a 6.8% unemployment rate, while Lawrence, Pike and Walthall each had 7.1% rates.

Monthly estimates of the labor force, employment, unemployment and the unemployment rate are generated by the Local Area Unemployment Statistics Program, a cooperative program between the Bureau of Labor Statistics and State Employment Security Agencies. Results are “residence” based, meaning the physical location of a person’s residence rather than the location of the establishment where they are employed.