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Jobless rates see uptick in July



Nathan Gregory



Recently released unemployment statistics show slight improvement over last July in the Golden Triangle. 


The numbers also tell a story of need for more job opportunities, as area rates are well above the 8-percent rate for Mississippi as a whole. 


Both Lowndes and Oktibbeha counties had unemployment rates of 10.1 percent in July 2013. They both showed slight improvement last month, with Lowndes showing a 9.9-percent unemployment rate and Oktibbeha a 9.4. That's 2,650 people looking for jobs in Lowndes County and 1,840 doing so in Oktibbeha. 


As has typically been the case since the Sara Lee plant closure in 2007, Clay County had the third highest unemployment rate of the state's 82 counties last month at 18.2 percent, or 1,310 people without work. That's nearly a 2-percent turnaround from last July, however, when it the rate was 20.1.  


Noxubee County's unemployment rate rose slightly from 16.6 in July 2013 to 16.9 percent last month. That's 620 people seeking work. 


Across the state, about 109,300 people were unemployed last month in Mississippi. Seasonally adjusted, that is 8 percent, according to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. Not seasonally adjusted, that is 8.6 percent. Seasonal adjustments remove seasonal affects such as the opening and closings of schools and holidays. Only state and national percentages are seasonally adjusted. 


The seasonally adjusted nationwide unemployment rate was 6.2 percent last month. 


In July 2014, there were 1,300 more jobs in Mississippi than in June 2014, and 11,900 more  


than July 2013, according to the seasonally adjusted results from a survey of Mississippi employers. 


Nonfarm industry sectors seeing the largest monthly employment losses were government, construction and leisure and hospitality, according to MDES.


Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.



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