Joblessness declines in county, across state

Published 11:29 am Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Joblessness fell across Mississippi and Warren County in October, statistics show, while temporary jobs through the federal government continued locally this week.

Countywide, the jobless rate was 9.4 percent for the month, down from a revised 10.2 percent in September, according to figures reported Tuesday by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. The labor force was 21,690 last month, up by 60 people.

Employment totals grew while fewer sought benefits, the monthly report said. Broken out, the employment ranks grew to 19,660, up 230 people, and 2,030 were counted unemployed, down by 170 people.

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Statewide, unemployment was 8.3 percent, down from a revised 9.1 percent in August. The rate is also lower than a year ago, when it was 10.6 percent. Seasonally adjusted, the statewide rate for September was 8.9 percent.

All 90 jobs sought this month by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District for its Mat Sinking Unit were filled Monday during a hiring session at the district’s casting fields in Delta. The Mississippi River has remained low since late spring and past the traditional end of “low-water season” in September, prompting Corps’ call for additional help. The revetment and deckhand positions hired this week pay $10.59 to $19.16 an hour, the Corps said.

Up to 130 jobs came available in October when the Corps needed a second batch of workers to replace others whose contracts ended with the low-water season’s traditional end. Federal law limits how much time contractors can spend on the river, which forced a new round of hiring. The revetment season might last through February.

Rankin County posted the lowest unemployment rate for the month, at 5.2 percent, down from 5.9 percent in September. Clay County posted the highest, at 16.4 percent, down from 17.1 percent.

Rates in Claiborne, Sharkey and Issaquena counties also fell last month. Claiborne’s was 14 percent, down six-tenths of a point. Issaquena’s fell 2.3 points, to 13.3 percent. Sharkey’s was down a tenth, to 9.8 percent.