By From special reports



Mississippi’s unemployment rate in December 2018 was 4.7 percent, the third lowest level of unemployment ever recorded in Mississippi. The unemployment rate has now been at, or below, 4.8 percent for 15 months.

Kemper County’s unemployment rate lines up above the state average as do neighboring counties but is much improved compared to times in the past when it was in the teens.

Kemper County’s annual unemployment rate for 2018 stood at 7.2 percent, down from the 2017 annual rate of 8 percent. Unemployment in December 2018 stood at 7.1 percent in Kemper County. That was up slightly from 7.0 percent in November 2018.

Other area counties were as follows:

Dec.2018    Nov.2018

Newton County      5.0   4.3

Noxubee County    6.5    5.9

Lauderdale County 4.9   4.7

Leake County          5.3   4.7

Winston County     5.8   4.8        

In December, the number of nonfarm jobs in Mississippi rose to 1,173,000, which are the most jobs ever recorded in Mississippi. December was the third month in a row in which the number of jobs broke the previous record.

The number of jobs in Mississippi increased by 400 in December. Over the year since December 2017, the number of jobs in our state increased by 11,000.

The December rate is the same as a month earlier in November 2018 and one-tenth of a percentage point lower than a year ago in December 2017, when the rate was 4.8 percent.

The Labor Force, which is made up of everyone who has a job or is looking for a job, declined in December by 3,100 to 1,281,100; however, over the year since December 2017, the Labor Force rose by 3,600.

The number of unemployed Mississippians in December was 60,100, which was the same as a month earlier in November; however, over the year since December 2017, the number of unemployed Mississippians is down by 800.

The number of people working in Mississippi declined in December by 3,100 to 1,221,000, but for the year since December 2017, employment in our state increased by 4,400.