Joseph R. Gurner

Staff Writer

The jobless rate in Monroe County took a sharp turn up in May, following a statewide trend.

According to figures provided be the Mississippi State Employment Commission, Monroe County’s unemployment rate rose from 8.4 percent in April to 10.4 percent in May.

The numbers in the total civilian work force and the number of employed both rose in May.

For May, the total civilian labor force in Monroe County increased by 340 people to 14,560. The number of unemployed increased by 320 to 1,520.

A total of 13,040 people were employed in May. That number is up 20 from the April figures. There were 50 more jobs in the agricultural sector, which employed 550. The nonmanufacturing job sector rose by 20 jobs to 6,500, but the manufacturing sector fell by 30 jobs, to 3,870.

The increase in Monroe County’s jobless rate gave it the third highest rate in the six-county region.

Chickasaw County had the highest rate with 12.2 percent. Clay County had 12.1 percent followed by Monroe County. Lowndes County had 7.6 percent.

Itawamba County had 5.6 percent and Lee County had the lowest jobless rate in the region with 5.6 percent.

Mississippi’s overall jobless rate rose in May to 6.5 percent. That’s well above the national average of 5.8 percent.

Lamar County had the lowest jobless rate across the state with 3.1 percent. Jefferson County had the highest with 20.2 percent. Monroe County’s 10.2 percent rank it 64th among the state’s 82 counties.

The Mississippi Employment Security Office in Amory is located in the Monroe County Government Complex on Highway 25. It is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Claims officials are in Amory and Aberdeen each Tuesday in order to sign up new unemployment claimants. For more information, contact the Amory MESC office at 256-2618.

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