Lafayette County has one of the lowest jobless rates in Mississippi

Published 10:28 am Friday, December 23, 2016

Lafayette County continues to have one of the lowest unemployment rates in Mississippi and remains below the national average. The 4.1 percent jobless rate in Lafayette County for November is more than a percentage point below the state average of 5.2 percent and slightly below the 4.4 percent national average.

The state October rate was 5.7 percent.

The Mississippi Department of Employment Security provided the most recent figures.

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Local officials are pleased with the job growth numbers.

“Lafayette County not only has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state, but also the highest rate of growth, third highest average annual wage and some of the highest growth in manufacturing jobs,” said Jon Maynard, president and CEO of the Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation and Chamber of Commerce. “We are doing a lot of things right in Lafayette County when it comes to true economic development.”

According to the MDES, the state unemployment rate is the lowest in 12 years. The state jobless rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point from October and was the lowest rate since February of 2004. A year ago, the state rate was 6.6 percent.

DeSoto and Rankin counties had the lowest rates at 3.7 percent, followed by Madison and Lamar counties at 3.9 percent. Union County was next 4 percent, followed by Lafayette. Neighboring Pontotoc County is at 4.3 percent.

The Mississippi Delta continues to have the highest unemployment rate with Issaquena leading the way at 11.8 percent.

The number of unemployed Mississippians also dropped in November by 1,600 to 73,400. This is the lowest number of Mississippians without jobs since January 2004 when 73,100 were unemployed. The November 2016 figure is 11,900 lower than a year ago in November 2015.

The Labor Force, which is made up of everyone who has a job or is looking for a job, increased in November by 5,400 to 1,283,900. Over the year since November 2015, the Labor Force decreased by 1,800.

The number of people working in Mississippi rose in November by 7,000 to 1,210,500. For the year since November 2015, employment in the state posted an increase of 10,100.