According to recent labor market data, Itawamba County is back to pre-pandemic numbers and hovering two percentage points below the statewide average.

Itawamba County’s unemployment rate for November was 4.4 percent, a six-tenths of a percentage point drop from the previous month. When compared to a year ago, that number was down one-tenth of a percentage point from the 4.5 percent reported for November 2019.

Itawamba County reported a labor force of 10,560 individuals. Of those, 10,090 were reported employed and 470 unemployed. Compared to the previous month, with a labor force made up of 10,520 individuals, of which 9,990 were reported employed and 530 were reported unemployed.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Mississippi in November 2020 was 6.4 percent, down one percent from the previous month, but up eight-tenths of a percentage point on the year when compared to November 2020.

Seasonally adjusted numbers minimize the effects of regularly recurring seasonal events such as the influence of weather, vacations, harvests, holidays, and the opening and closing of school by adjusting statistics from month to month. Seasonally adjusted numbers make it easier to observe the cyclical and other non-seasonal movements in a data series.

From October 2020 to November 2020 Mississippi gained 3,800 new jobs. The number of nonfarm jobs is down by 24,900 from last year.

Of the 89,900 workers in the Itawamba Community college District – which includes Chickasaw, Itawamba, Lee, Monroe, and Pontotoc Counties – 85,040 were currently employed as of the month of September. That’s an increase of 430 workers from November 2020, but a decrease of 340 from the previous month.

As of November, there were 109 claims for unemployment insurance and 599 continued claims. Those numbers amount to $271,737 paid out to unemployed laborers.

Comparatively, in November of 2019, there were 29 claims and 118 continued claims. The result of which was $21,315 in unemployment insurance payments to unemployed potential workers.

Those current number are down however from October’s 97 claims and 749 continued claims. That translates to $272,473 in unemployment insurance payments to unemployed potential workers.

As part of a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package passed in Dec., Congress has approved a $300 weekly unemployment bonus. This bonus will last for eleven weeks.

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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