Jun. 23—The unemployment rate in Northeast Mississippi moved up a notch to 5.3% in May.
According to estimates from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, roughly 216,190 people were employed in the 16-county region out of a labor force of 228,390. That's about 1,000 fewer workers on the job than in April, when the jobless rate was at 5.2%.
A year ago, as the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered many businesses, Northeast Mississippi's jobless rate was 10.8%.
Statewide, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for last month was 6.1%, a decrease of one-tenth of a percentage point from April and 4.9 percentage points lower than a year ago.
It should be noted that state and national figures are reported on a seasonally adjusted basis, which takes into account season changes such as the start and end of schools and holidays. County figures are reported as nonseasonally adjusted.
Nevertheless, on a nonseasonally adjusted basis, Union County had the state's second-lowest jobless rate at 4.3%. Itawamba and Tishomingo ties for fifth-lowest at 4.6%, while Pontotoc was at seventh at 4.7%. Prentiss County rounded out the top 10, tied at 9th with a 4.8% rate.
Clay County had the highest unemployment rate in the region at 8.0%, but that ranked 63rd of the state's 82 counties.
The unemployment rates for the other Northeast Mississippi counties in alphabetical order: Benton (7.5), Calhoun (5.1), Chickasaw (6.9), Lafayette (4.9), Lee (5.1), Marshall (6.3), Monroe (5.7), Oktibbeha (6.0), and Tippah (4.9).
MDES said the industry sectors seeing the biggest employment gains across the state were leisure and hospitality; trade, transportation and utilities; and manufacturing.