Of the seven counties that make up the Golden Triangle region, unemployment rose across the board in June, according to preliminary data released Tuesday by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.
Noxubee County was the only county in the region to lower its unemployment rate from the previous year. The change was from 8.4% to 8.2%. June's numbers reported the labor force of the county at 3,960 with 3,630 working or looking for work and 330 unemployed.
Choctaw County did not lower its unemployment rate but remained unchanged at 5.4% with a labor force of 3,960. Of that number, 3,740 were reported as working or looking for work in June, and 220 were reported as unemployed.
As a whole, the Golden Triangle reported an unemployment rate of 6.9% in June, up from the 6.4% reported in the same month last year.
This increase in unemployment breaks a five year trend of improvement for the Golden Triangle. From 2014 when the unemployment rate for June was 10.7%, the number has lowered each year prior to 2019.
This year buckles five-year improvement streaks for the cities of Starkville and Columbus as well. Starkville jumped from 5.2% last June to 5.6% this year. Columbus had a smaller bump, moving from 6.6% last June to 6.7% this year.
The biggest change came from Clay County. Unemployment for the month of June rose an entire percent in Clay County, moving from 7.3% in June 2018 to 8.3% last month.
Falling in with the regional trend, this change snaps a five-year streak of falling unemployment in Clay County, which had a June unemployment rate of 14.9% in June 2014.
Clay County – which was ranked 69th of the state's 82 counties for unemployment – reported a preliminary labor force of 8,060 with 7,390 working or looking for work.
Oktibbeha County could not shake the regional increase either. The county's unemployment numbers rose from 6.3% in June 2018 to 7.1% last year. Oktibbeha County reported a workforce of 22,640 last month. Of those, 21,030 were employed or looking for employment.
Lowndes County felt a smaller impact as unemployment rates rose to 6.3% from 6% in June of last year. June 2019 also disrupted Lowndes County's five-year trend of improvement, steadily dropping from 9.8% in June 2014 each year.
The county also reported 25,210 people in the labor force and 23,620 people working or looking for work in June.
All of the counties in the Golden Triangle remained above the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Mississippi, which remained at May's 5%. Choctaw County was the closest to it at 5.4%
The state continued to fall behind the national unemployment rate of 3.8%.
As it did in May, Rankin County reported the lowest unemployment rate for June at 4.3%. Six other counties – Lamar, Union, Lee, Pontotoc, DeSoto and Madison – also reported rates below 5%.
Five counties in Mississippi reported rates above 10% – Wilkinson (11.3%), Holmes (11.5%), Issaquena (12.9%), Claiborne (12.4%) and Jefferson (17.2%).