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Lincoln County unemployed numbers fall, but not back to normal

Lincoln County had an unemployment rate of 9.1% in May, down from April’s historic high of 13%, but still well above numbers in recent years.

Effects of the coronavirus pandemic are still reverberating through job markets nationwide as unemployment rates drop slightly across the board but remain above average.

In Mississippi, Smith County had the lowest unemployment rate, at 5.4%, followed by Choctaw County at 6.5% — the only two counties with rates below 7%.

Lincoln County fell near its normal mark as the 32nd-lowest rate in the state, tied with Tate County. Lincoln County has 1,270 people unemployed from a labor force of 13,900.

April saw 1,770 Lincoln Countians without jobs, from a labor force of 13,360. Less than 800 people were unemployed in the county from a labor force just shy of 14,700 one year ago.

Counties bordering Lincoln had rates of 8.4% in Amite to 18.3% in Jefferson. Others were 8.7% in Franklin, 9% in Copiah, 9.4% in Walthall, 9.9% in Lawrence and 10% in Pike County.

The two counties with the highest rates of unemployment for the month recorded well over twice Lincoln County’s number — 21.3% for Holmes County and 23.5% in Tunica County. Fifty-four counties had unemployment rates of 5.4 to 10.4% for the month.

The United States’ unemployment rate was 13%. With a May labor force of 157.97 million, that translates to 20.5 million people unemployed.

Mississippi’s average for May was 10.5%, down significantly from April’s 15.7%, but still markedly up from the previous 10 months’ average of 5.4%. For May, the state had a labor force of 1.2 million — down about 64,000 from one year previously — and 127,800 people unemployed.

Initial unemployment insurance claims in Mississippi have dropped from more than 157,000 in April to 103,087 initial claims. But May’s continued number of claims is 947,444 compared to April’s 457,264. The state paid $72.6 million in unemployment insurance claims in April and more double that in May — $145.5 million.

Monthly estimates of the labor force, employment, unemployment and unemployment rate are generated by the Local Area Unemployment Statistics Program, a cooperative effort between the Bureau of Labor Statistics and State Employment Security agencies. The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines an individual employed if they did any work at all for pay or profit during the survey week; this includes all part-time and temporary work as well as full time year round employment. Unemployed individuals are those who do not have a job, have actively looked for work during the past four weeks and are currently available for work. The sum of employed and unemployed produces the Civilian Labor Force.

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