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Lowndes County unemployment rate rises




Nathan Gregory



According to statistics released Wednesday by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, Lowndes County has a 10.6 percent unemployment rate, an increase of 0.4-percent compared to June 2012. 


Oktibbeha County's unemployment rate dropped slightly, from 11.4 percent to 11.1 percent when compared to last June while Clay County was once again the county with the highest unemployment rate in Mississippi. Its rate was up to 20.1 from 17.8 last June. 


Noxubee County's jobless rate remained steady at 16.7, the same percentage reported in June 2012. 


Those percentages mean there are 2,880 people actively seeking jobs who are unemployed in Lowndes County. In Oktibbeha County, that number is 2,200. In Clay County, it is 1,510 people and in Noxubee County, it is 640. 


In Lowndes County, the rate has been up from 2012 in each of the six months reported by MDES. In February, unemployment was up more than a full percent when compared to the previous February. June's figures are the smallest rise in unemployment of the past six months.  


Oktibbeha County has been more of a mixed bag. In March, April and June, rates have been down but were up in January, February and May. This month is the largest dip in the rate this year at 0.3-percent. 


Clay County's rate has been consistently higher each month in 2013. This is the second month the rate has reached the 20 percent mark this year. MDES reported 20.6 percent unemployment in January.  


Since January, the unemployment rate in Noxubee County has been down four straight months before drawing even in June. The county reported rates of 16.2, 14.2, 13.5 and 15.8 in February through May compared to rates of 16.4, 15.4, 14.2 and 15.9 in those months in 2012.


Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.



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