Panola jobless rate hits double digits 6/30/2015

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Panola jobless rate hits double digits

By Rita Howell
Unemployment in Panola County is on a roller coaster ride going from  9.2 percent in March to 8.3 percent in April and back up to 10.2  percent in May.

The jobless figure for Panola County is up just over two points over April’s tally, according to the latest estimates from  the Mississippi Department of Unemployment Security.

The new figures show that Panola’s 10.2 percent unemployment rate  is more than three percentage points higher than Mississippi’s  average of 7 percent for the month. The U.S. average unemployment for May was 5.3 percent.

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According to MDES preliminary estimates, 12,310 people in Panola were employed  during the month out of a labor force of 13,710. The total of jobless persons was 1,400.

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

In the five-year comparison, the current figure is the lowest for the  period. The highest was 13.9 percent in May of 2010.

In comparison to the six surrounding counties, the Panola unemployment rate was less than Tunica (10.9) and Quitman (12.4) and higher than Tallahatchie and Yalobusha (both 7.8), Tate (7.9) and Lafayette (5.7).

For the month of May 2015, twenty-nine counties in Mississippi posted unemployment rates less than or equal to the state’s rate of 7.0 percent. Rankin County posted the lowest unemployment rate for the month of May at 4.3 percent followed by Madison County at 4.8 percent. Issaquena County had the highest unemployment rate for May at 18.3 percent followed by Claiborne County at 15.1 percent.