Panola’s Unemployment

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Panola’s unemployment rate edges down slightly in Oct.

By David Howell

Unemployment in the county dropped by almost half a percent from September to October.

The unemployment rate for October was 12.2 percent, compared to 12.6 percent in September, according to the latest figures from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

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The statistics show there were 2,030 people unemployed in the county in October, 60 less than the previous month. The total labor force in the county in October was 16,620. The labor force is defined as the estimated number of people eligible for work or actively looking for work.

The October 2011 unemployment rate is up by three-tenths of a percentage point from the October 2010 rate of 11.9 percent. Five years ago, in October 2006, the rate was 7.5 percent. But, the current rate is still almost one percent lower than the 13.1 percent reached in October 2009.

In comparison to the six surrounding counties, the Panola unemployment rate was less than Tunica (13.2) and Quitman (12.3), but higher than Tallahatchie (10.2), Yalobusha (10.7), Tate (9.6) and Lafayette (8.1). Initial unemployment insurance claims as well as continuing claims went up over the month. Initial claims were 78 in October compared to 51 in September. Continuing claims went up from 399 in September to 581 in October.

Mississippi’s unadjusted unemployment rate for October was 10.2 percent, decreasing four-tenths of a percentage point from the September rate of 10.6 percent. When compared to the year ago rate of 9.8 percent, the rate increased four-tenths of a percentage point.

Over the month, the number of unemployed decreased 5,500, while the employed total increased 1,900. For the month of October, only 23 counties in Mississippi posted unemployment rates less than or equal to the state’s rate of 10.2 percent.