County jobless rate lowest in 13 months

Published 11:33 am Thursday, March 15, 2012

Warren County’s jobless rate fell to its lowest level in 13 months in January while the statewide job picture climbed a tenth of a point for the month.

Local unemployment stood at 10.6 percent for January, down from 11.1 percent in December, according to totals released Wednesday by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. The labor force grew by 550 people for the month, to 21,510 from 20,960, while the ranks of those seeking unemployment benefits shrank by 40, to 2,280.

It’s the lowest percentage since December 2010, when local unemployment was 10 percent. The last time local unemployment was below double digits was October 2010, when the agency reported a revised 9.9 percent.

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Statewide, the rate was 10 percent in January, up from 9.9 percent in December. Adjusted for seasonal factors in the workplace, it was 9.9 percent. Each year in early March, the department revises labor force estimates from previous years. Data from December and January is preliminary and February figures will be released later this month.

Rankin and Holmes counties registered the state’s lowest and highest respective jobless rates in January. Rankin rose a tenth of a point, to 6.3 percent. Holmes was at 18 percent, up from 17.8 percent.

Rates in Issaquena and Sharkey counties rose more than 2 points for the month, 14.4 percent in Issaquena and 15.8 percent in Sharkey. Claiborne County’s rate dropped more than a point, to 14.2 percent.