Jobless rate up slightly in January

Published 11:26 am Thursday, March 13, 2014

Warren County’s labor force grew in January, but so did the jobless rate, mirroring a statewide trend for the month.
The countywide rate was 8.8 percent for the month, up 0.4 points from December, according to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.
Driving the slight increase was an uptick in the overall labor force, which grew by 380 people during the month, to 19,970, and smaller growth in the ranks of those counted with a job. That category increased by 260 people, to 18,210. The raw number of unemployed also went up, to 1,760 from 1,640 in December.
Rates in Claiborne, Sharkey and Issaquena counties were also up in January, all by at least two points. Broken out, the rates were 13.8 percent for Claiborne, 14.8 percent for Issaquena and 13.2 percent for Sharkey.
Statewide, unemployment stood at 7.9 percent, up from 8 percent in December. Adjusted for seasonal factors in the workplace, the rate was 7.5 percent — the lowest either rate has been since November 2008. Nationally, joblessness was 7 percent, up half a point. The state’s labor force in January shrank for the second straight month, coming in at 1,258,100, down by 9,600 people. It had decreased by 13,200 from November to December.
The unemployment rate is calculated by a survey that asks how many people are looking for a job. A second survey each month asks employers how many people are on their payrolls, a measure many economists use as their top labor market indicator.
In January 2014, there were 10,000 more jobs in Mississippi than in January 2013, but 4,000 less than December 2013, according to the seasonally adjusted results from a survey of Mississippi employers.
The state’s nonfarm employment increased 14,900 from last year but was down by 17,400 from December. Sectors with the most losses in January were trade, transportation and utilities, educational and health services, construction and leisure and hospitality.