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Golden Triangle unemployment rates remain stable



Slim Smith



An increase in jobs combined with a decrease in employment cause a slight spike in across the state, according to the data released Wednesday by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. 


Of the four Golden Triangle counties, only Oktibbeha County saw a drop in unemployment in July compared to June (0.6 percent). While Lowndes County saw only a 0.2 percent increase in unemployment, both Clay and Noxubee counties saw a pronounced uptick in joblessness -- both by 1.1 percent. 


The July 2017 numbers were nearly identical to those of a year ago this month, but all four counties have shown strong recovery compared to five years ago with drops in the jobless rates of 6.4 percent (Clay), 3.1 percent (Lowndes), 3.7 percent (Oktibbeha) and 4.3 percent (Noxubee). 


Mississippi's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by 0.2 percent since last month and now stands at 5.0 percent, which is 0.9 percent lower than in July 2016. 


Seasonally adjusted data removes the effects of events that follow a more or less regular pattern each year such as the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events. 


July's data also showed the state has reached a milestone in available jobs, increasing by 1,800 over the month to 1,153,100, the most jobs in the state since 2008. 


The number of people working in Mississippi decreased in July by 9,800 to 1,221,400. For the year since July 2016 employment in the state posted an increase of 16,900. 


There were 2,000 more unemployed people in the state compared to June 2017 but there are 7,800 fewer jobless people than in July 2016.


Slim Smith is a columnist and feature writer for The Dispatch. His email address is [email protected]



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