County’s jobless rate up in Jan. 3/20/2015

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 20, 2015

County’s jobless rate up in Jan.

By Rita Howell
With a jobless rate of 11.6 for January, Panola is 67th out of the 82 counties in unemployment rankings just released by the Mississippi Department of Employment Securities.

Although the figure for December was 9.9 percent, that doesn’t  necessarily mean that unemployment in Panola rose almost two points over the month. According to the latest release from the MDES, new methods were used to create the latest estimates.

About every ten years the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program undergoes a major change in methodology. This change an effort by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to generate more accurate and reliable statistics, MDES’s release said.

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A primary change is the introduction of estimation inputs from the American Community Survey to replace inputs previously obtained from the decennial census long-form survey which no longer exists. In addition the Labor Department uses revised Dynamic Residency Ratios which connect establishment based amounts to residency based amounts.

The latest estimates do show that Panola’s 11.6 percent unemployment rate is 3.8 percent higher than the state’s average of 7.8 percent for January.

Rates for counties contiguous to Panola were: Tate, 9.3; Lafayette, 6.4; Yalobusha, 9.2; Tallahatchie, 10.8; Quitman, 15.5; Tunica, 14.9.

Rankin County posted the lowest unemployment rate for the month of January at 4.6 percent followed by Lamar and Madison Counties at 5.2 percent. Issaquena County had the  highest unemployment rate for January at 24.5 percent followed by Humphreys County at 18.9 percent.