Itawamba County ranked among the top five Mississippi counties for lowest unemployment rates for the month of May.

After a slight uptick in March to 5.1 percent, Itawamba County’s unemployment rate held steady at 4.6 percent through April and May, tying with neighboring Tishomingo County for a fifth place ranking statewide. Mississippi’s statewide non seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May was 6.1 percent, a full one and half percentage points higher than Itawamba County.

Mississippi’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was the same as it’s unadjusted at 6.1 percent, just three tenths of a percent above the nation’s seasonally adjusted rate of 5.8 percent.

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. Amounts are seasonally adjusted at the National and State levels only.

In May, the number of employed Mississippians rose to 1,201,800, up 300 from April. The number of unemployed decreased by 1,000 over the month to 78,500.

Mississippi’s initial unemployment claims for May totaled $12,409,301 with an average weekly benefit of $179.04.

Itawamba had 58 initial claims and 509 continued claims for the month of May which translates to a total of $64,566 paid in regular unemployment insurance claims down from $65,456 in April.

As of May, Itawamba’s labor force is comprised of 10,420 jobseekers with 9,940 of those employed and 480 unemployed. The civilian labor force is defined by the MDES as the proportion of the civilian noninstitutional population that is employed or actively seeking employment. The labor force is the sum of the number of employed and unemployed.

Statistics on the current status of the population and related data are compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics using data from the Current Population Survey (CPS). The CPS is a monthly survey of households conducted by the US Census Bureau. It is a scientifically selected survey designed to represent the civilian noninstitutional population of the United States.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, people are categorized as either employed, unemployed, or not in the labor force based on how they respond to survey questions about their recent activities. People who have a job are employed, including those who may be temporarily absent (whether or not they are paid). People who do not have a job and are actively looking for and available for work are unemployed. People who are on temporary layoff and expect to be recalled to their job do not need to look for work to be counted as unemployed, but they do need to be available to return to work if recalled. Those who do not meet the criteria to be classified as either employed or unemployed are not in the labor force.

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