By William B. 


Managing Editor

Kemper County’s unemployment rate improved to 6.8 percent for the month of August from the 8.6 percent rate it recorded in July, according to figures released Tuesday by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. 

Statewide, the unemployment rate moved to 4.7 percent, down from the 5.3 percent recorded in July.

According to preliminary figures, in August, Kemper County had a labor force of 3,460 with 230 unemployed. In July, those numbers were 3,560 and 310 respectively.

Ten counties in the state had higher unemployment rates than Kemper in August.

Twenty-nine counties in Mississippi posted August 2018 unemployment rates less than or equal to the state’s rate of 4.7 percent.

Rankin County posted the lowest unemployment rate for the month of July at 3.4 percent followed by Madison County at 3.5 percent.

Jefferson County had the highest unemployment rate for August at 14.7 percent followed by Claiborne County at 9.6 percent.

There were 14 initial claims for unemployment benefits from Kemper County in August and 140 continued claims with total payments of $22,277.

The unemployment rate for East Central Planning and Development District, which includes Kemper County, was 4.8 percent for preliminary August figures. For the East Mississippi Community College District, the unemployment rate decreased from 6.3 to 4.7 percent.

The overall state labor force, which is made up of everyone who has a job or is looking for a job, decreased in August by 23,300 to 1,281,500.  Over the year since August 2017, the Labor Force increased by 12,500.

The number of people working in Mississippi decreased in August by 14,200 to 1,220,900.  For the year since August 2017, employment in our state increased by 15,000.  

Kemper’s 6.8 unemployment rate is less than half of its five year high, reached in July 2013 of 14.3 percent.