Panola’s jobless rate increases 3/21/2014

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 21, 2014

Panola’s jobless rate increases

By Rita Howell
Unemployment in Panola County appeared to take a jump in January, to 10.3 percent from 9.5 percent in December, according to preliminary figures from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

The most recent MDES figures for Panola County show a labor force of 14,390 with 12,900 currently employed. That leaves 1,490 people out of work.

The state’s unemployment rate for January was 7.5 percent while the national rate was 6.6 percent.

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 Preliminary reports for other nearby counties were: Yalobusha, 9.3 percent unemployment; Tallahatchie, 12.1; Quitman, 14.1; Tunica, 17.3; Tate, 8.4; Lafayette, 6.0.

The labor force is defined by MDES as the estimated number of people eligible for work or actively looking for work. But, those figures don’t include people who have given up looking for work and are no longer participating in the labor force.

According to the Center for Economic Policy Research in Washington, those figures are at a high not seen since 1978. The current labor force participation rate is only about 62.8 percent.

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.

Seasonally adjusted data removes the effects of events that follow a more or less regular pattern each year such as the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events.

These adjustments make it easier to observe the cyclical and other non-seasonal movements in a data series.

For the month of January 2014, twenty-seven counties in Mississippi posted unemployment rates less than or equal to the state’s rate of 7.5 percent.

Rankin County posted the lowest unemployment rate for the month of January at 4.5 percent followed by DeSoto at 5.3 percent. Clay County had the highest unemployment rate for January at 17.4 percent followed by Tunica County at 17.3 percent.