Joblessness up first time in 3 months

Published 12:04 pm Thursday, June 24, 2010

Joblessness in Warren County increased in May, breaking a trend of three months of falling unemployment.

Local unemployment was 11.6 percent for the month, up from an adjusted 11.1 percent in March, according to figures released Wednesday by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. Totals had tracked down each month since January, when the rate was 12.5 percent.

Statewide, joblessness was up half a percent during May, to 11.2 percent from 10.7 percent in April. Nationally, unemployment stood at 9.3 percent, down slightly from a revised 9.5 percent in April. Adjusted for seasonal factors in the work force, the state’s rate is 11.4 percent and the national rate 9.7 percent.

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Most of the 68 initial claims during the month were placed in the STEPS program, Vicksburg WIN Job Center branch manager Terry Hodges said. The state-run program pays wages and benefits up to six months. Funding runs through Sept. 30.

Statewide figures reflected gains in the construction, government and leisure/hospitality categories, according to MDES.

Rankin County posted the lowest unemployment in April, at 7.1 percent, up from 6.9 percent in March. Noxubee County posted the highest, at 22 percent, up from 20.4 percent a month ago.

Claiborne posted the biggest jump for May among area counties, at 17.8 percent from 15.9 percent in April. Sharkey County stood at 12.6 percent, up from 12.2 percent, and Issaquena remained unchanged at 12.6 percent.