While unemployment rates went up slightly in September in two of the four Golden Triangle counties, the overall trend continues to be promising when compared to the previous year, according to the latest data released by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.
The jobless rate in Lowndes County increased by 0.4 percent compared to August’s numbers while the unemployment rate in Clay County was up a 0.1 percent. In Oktibbeha and Noxubee counties that rate decreased by 0.2 percent.
The increases in some counties should not be cause for alarm, however. Factors such as the start of the school year are generally responsible for those variations, MDES says.
The better indicator of the health of the job market can be found in year-to-year comparisons, where the numbers paint a far brighter picture.
In each of the four counties, unemployment rates fell significantly over that span — by 3.7 percent in Clay County, 3.5 percent in Lowndes County, 3 percent in Noxubee County and 1.4 percent in Oktibbeha County.
When compared to five years ago, the improvement is even more pronounced. The unemployment rate has fallen by 6.7 percent in Noxubee County compared to August 2010, 6.6 percent in Clay County, 7.8 percent in Lowndes County and 6.3 percent in Oktibbeha County.
The MDES also calculates a 12-month moving average. That data shows that from September 2014 until last month, the average number of eligible workers without jobs in the Golden Triangle was 4.610 . Overall, the Golden Triangle’s 12-month unemployment rate was 8.0.
Slim Smith is a columnist and feature writer for The Dispatch. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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