April 24, 2014 10:48:52 AM
Compared to last March, unemployment rates in Lowndes and Oktibbeha counties have changed little, while Clay County's was down nearly 1 percent and Noxubee County's was up 1 percent.
The latest data compiled by the Mississippi Department of Unemployment Security shows 9.2 percent, or about 2,430 Lowndes County residents, looking for jobs last month, down slightly from 9.4 percent in March 2013.
Oktibbeha County's rate was identical to last March. In both months, the rate was 8 percent. MDES projects that 1,660 people are seeking employment there.
Clay County had the second highest unemployment rate of the state's 82 counties, second only to Issaquena County, at 17.2 percent. That's down from 17.9 percent of Clay Countians looking for work last March. About 1,220 people were unemployed.
Noxubee County's rate increased from 14.9 percent in March 2013 to 15.9 percent last month, about 570 people.
Statewide, 100,200 people were trying to find jobs, while 1,164,200 had jobs.
Seasonally adjusted, the overall state rate was 7.6 percent, two tenths of a percentage point up from 7.4 in February but down 1.4 points from March 2013. There were 5,900 more jobs in the state than there were last March, but 1,400 less than this past February. The seasonally adjusted national unemployment rate for last month was 6.7 percent.
Seasonally adjusted data does away with recurring events such as holidays, weather and schools being on vacation and the effects those events have on the amount of people seeking employment. Not seasonally adjusted, the statewide rate was 7.9 percent. It was 8 percent in February and 8.5 percent in March 2013.
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.
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