Area jobless rates are getting back to pre-pandemic levels, although new filings for assistance continue to be above average, according to the latest state labor market report.

Alcorn County posted a jobless rate of 4.6 percent in November, level with the rate a year earlier, ahead of the onset of COVID. The rate is down from 5.1 percent in October. Mississippi’s unemployment rate was down a full percentage point over the month in not seasonally adjusted figures.

Alcorn County ranked 9th for the month among the 82 counties. Tishomingo County, at 4.3 percent, ranked 4th; Prentiss County, at 5 percent, ranked 14th; and Tippah County, at 4.8 percent, ranked 13th. Rates ranged from 3.7 percent in Lafayette and Lamar counties to 16.4 percent in Jefferson County.

New claims for unemployment insurance in the county numbered 185 in November, compared to 39 a year earlier, while continued claims totaled 1,171, compared to 199 a year ago. Regular benefits paid out in the county totaled $135,205, up from $34,940 a year earlier. Benefits through all programs totaled $457,800.

The county had 740 unemployed for the month, nearly unchanged from 730 a year earlier.

The nation’s not seasonally adjusted rate for November was 6.4 percent, down from 6.6 percent in October and up from 3.3 percent a year earlier.

Unemployment rates were lower in November in 25 states and the District of Columbia, higher in seven states, and stable in 18 states, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Forty-eight states and the District had jobless rate increases from a year earlier, and two states had little change.

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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