Alcorn County’s jobless rate registered among the state’s lowest as it held steady in June following the initial pandemic-related spike.

The county’s rate was 7 percent in June, unchanged from the revised rate for May. A year earlier, it was 5.6 percent. The county ranked fourth among the 82 counties, following Smith County at 6.1 percent, Rankin County at 6.3 percent and Scott County at 6.9 percent.

While June is typically a month that sees county jobless rates rising because of students getting out of school for the summer and entering the labor market, the Mississippi Department of Employment Security said this June’s numbers were more affected by gradual recovery in the labor market.

New and continued claims for unemployment insurance continue to be well above normal in the county, with 565 first-time claims for the month and 5,099 continued claims. A year ago, the county had 27 new claims and 326 continued claims.

The county had 1,050 counted as unemployed for the month, unchanged from May. The number was 910 a year ago.

Regular unemployment benefits paid out in the county totaled $995,958 in June, compared to $53,133 a year earlier. Benefits paid through all unemployment programs in the county totaled $6.3 million.

Mississippi unemployment decreased from 10.4 percent in May to 9.7 percent in June in not seasonally adjusted numbers. A year ago, the state was at 6.4 percent.

Unemployment rates were lower in June in 42 states, higher in five states and unchanged in three states and the District of Columbia, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Forty-nine states and the District had jobless rate increases from a year earlier, while one state had no change. The national unemployment rate declined by 2.2 percentage points over the month to 11.1 percent but was 7.4 points higher than in June 2019.

Nonfarm payroll employment increased in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in June 2020.

Staff Writer

Jebb Johnston is a 1991 Alcorn Central High School graduate and a 1995 Ole Miss journalism graduate. His primary beats are city and county government.

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