Clay County unemployment falls to 6.1 percent


Unemployment in Clay County fell roughly half a percentage point from August to September, signaling an upswing in the local economy.

The latest data from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security reported unemployment in the county fell from 6.6 percent for the revised total in August to 6.1 percent in September. The preliminary totals also underscored an improving countywide economy, with unemployment improving more than a percentage point from 7.8 percent in September 2016.

Overall, the number of employed rose by 40 jobs month to month and the number of unemployed improved substantially over the year from 640 in September 2016 to 480 last month.

Clay County finished with the 62nd lowest unemployment rate among Mississippi’s 82 counties.

Surrounding counties and those in the Golden Triangle area reported unemployment rates including: Lowndes (4.9 percent), Oktibbeha (4.3 percent), Choctaw (4.6 percent), Webster (4.9 percent), Chickasaw (5.0 percent), Winston (5.5 percent) and Noxubee (7.1 percent).

Rankin and Union counties tied for the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 3.4 percent.

Jefferson County finished with the highest unemployment rate at 11.3 percent, which is the only county to report unemployment above 10 percent.

Despite improvement across the state, Mississippi’s unemployment rate (4.7 percent) still lagged the the national unemployment rate of 4.1 percent.