Newton County’s jobless rate hits 20-year low for October


Newton County’s unemployment rate hit a 20-year low for the month of October at 4.7 percent. The last time the county’s jobless rate had been that low for the month of October was in 1997 when it was 4.0 percent.

Newton County was tied with Montgomery, Tunica and Webster counties for the 34th lowest jobless rate in the state.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October 2017 was 4.9 percent. October and May of this year are the only times the rate has been below 5 percent since the current method of calculating state seasonally adjusted unemployment rates started in January 1976.

The state’s seasonally adjusted series reported an over the month decrease of three-tenths of a percentage point from 5.2 in September.

When compared to one year ago, the rate was eight-tenths of a percentage point lower than the 5.7 percent reported for October 2016.

The civilian labor force, which consists of everyone who has a job or is looking for a job, decreased 5,900 over the month to 1,272,000 in October in the state. The number of unemployed Mississippians fell over the month by 3,500 to 62,500. In October, fewer Mississippians were unemployed than at any time since October 1979.

In October, there were 2,100 more jobs in Mississippi than in September, and 6,500 more than October 2016, according to the seasonally adjusted results from a survey of Mississippi employers.

The last time there were more than the current 1,153,600 jobs in Mississippi was May 2008. 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. These adjustments make it easier to observe the cyclical and other non-seasonal movements in a data series. Amounts are seasonally adjusted at the national and state levels only.

Mississippi’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October was 4.4 percent, decreasing three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month’s rate of 4.7 percent. When compared to the October 2016 rate of 5.7 percent, the rate decreased 1.3 percentage points. The number of unemployed decreased 3,600 over the month, while the employed total decreased 4,100 from the prior month.

Mississippi’s not seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased 5,800 over the month and was 6,600 higher than one year ago. Industry sectors registering the largest monthly employment gains were professional and business services; trade, transportation and utilities; and leisure and hospitality.

For the month of October 27 counties in Mississippi posted unemployment rates less than or equal to the state’s rate of 4.4 percent. Lamar, Rankin and Union Counties posted the lowest unemployment rate for the month of October at 3.3 percent followed by DeSoto and Madison Counties at 3.4 percent.

Jefferson County had the highest unemployment rate for October at 10.3 percent followed by Issaquena County at 8.6 percent.