Despite gains for many from September to October this year, the Golden Triangle saw unemployment rise by more than a percentage point from this time last year.

Unemployment numbers Oct. 19

Data courtesy of Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

According to preliminary data from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, the Golden Triangle metro area saw unemployment rise from 4.6% in October 2018 to 5.8% last month. The region did, however, improve slightly from September when it posted unemployment at 5.9%

Clay County saw the biggest spike in unemployment, rising more than 2 percentage points over the previous year to 7.7% in October. The county also saw unemployment rise from September’s 7.5%.

Clay’s labor force, which consists of everyone employed or actively looking for a job, was reported to be 7,850 with 600 unemployed.

Oktibbeha County ranked in the top half of Mississippi counties for the lowest unemployment, coming in tied at 33rd with Choctaw and Tate counties.

However, Oktibbeha saw its unemployment climb from 4.3% in October 2018 to 5.5% last month.

Oktibbeha County’s labor force was reported to be 23,310 in October, with 1,280 people out of work.

While Oktibbeha saw a downturn in its unemployment fortunes, the county did improve from September’s 5.8% unemployment.

The city of Starkville also saw its unemployment rise a percentage point over the previous year to 4.4% in October, which is still an improvement from the city’s 4.8% unemployment in September.

Lowndes County fared better than the other two primary Golden Triangle counties, posting an unemployment of 5.1% for October, which is still an increase from October 2018’s 4.3%, but lower than September’s 5.4%.

The city of Columbus reported a rise of nearly a percentage point over the year for October at 5.6%, which is higher than the 5.7% unemployment in September for the city.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October 2019 in Mississippi was 5.5%, while the national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was at 3.6 percent. The national average increased one-tenth of a percentage point over the month but decreased two-tenths of a percentage point over the year.

According to the MDES, Mississippi’s labor force expanded by 2,400 over the month to 1,289,800 in October 2019.

The report said the number of employed Mississippians increased over the month by 900 to 1,219,000.

Additionally, the state reports that in October, there were 300 more jobs in Mississippi than in September 2019, and 11,700 more than October 2018, according to the seasonally adjusted results from a survey of Mississippi employers.

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