City, county unemployment rises in May

Staff Writer

According to preliminary data from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, both Oktibbeha County and Starkville saw an expected rise in unemployment from April to May.

Oktibbeha County’s unemployment rate rose from 4 percent in April to 5 percent in May, while Starkville’s rose from 3.3 percent in April to 4.4 percent in May.

MDES Chief Labor Market Information Officer Mary Willoughby said the increase in unemployment is symptomatic of a seasonal pattern that occurs every year based on universities and colleges across the state.

Willoughby said the unemployment rate will rise again in June when high school students finish for the summer, but will decrease once students return back to school in August and September.

For May, Oktibbeha County’s labor force, which is made up of everyone who is employed or seeking employment, was reported to be 24,480 people with 23,250 people employed and 1,210 people unemployed.

Starkville’s labor force in May was reported to be 13,320 people, with 12,740 people employed and 580 unemployed.

Year over year, Oktibbeha County’s revised unemployment rate for May 2017was 5.3 percent, and Starkville’s revised unemployment rate for May 2017 was 4.5 percent.

Other Golden Triangle counties’ unemployment rates for May include: Chickasaw (5.4 percent), Choctaw (5.2 percent), Clay (6.6 percent), Lowndes (5.3 percent), Monroe (5.3 percent), Noxubee (7.5 percent), Webster (5.6 percent) and Winston (5.9).

According to the preliminary data, Mississippi’s unemployment rate was reported to be 5.1 percent for May, with 1,293,100 Mississippians making up the labor force.

Out of that, 1,227,100 were reported to be employed with 66,000 people employed.

Rankin County reported the lowest unemployment rate for May with 3.7 percent, while Jefferson County had the highest unemployment rate at 12.8 percent.

The nation’s unemployment rate was reported to be 3.6 percent in May. The nation’s labor force was reported to be 161,765,000 Americans, with 156,009,000 people employed and 5,756,000 people employed.