Tallahatchie jobless rate declines slightly from April to May

By CLAY MCFERRIN,

Despite the fallout from COVID-19, Tallahatchie County’s unemployment rate dropped from 9.7% in April to 7.0% in May, according to a Mississippi Department of Employment Security report released Tuesday.

In May, 360 Tallahatchians were unemployed, and 4,790 employed, from a local labor force totaling 5,150. The labor force consists of everyone who has a job or is actively looking for one.

In April, 470 had been jobless, while 4,360 were working, among a labor force of 4,830, according to MDES.

Tallahatchie County’s May unemployment rate was 2% higher than the jobless rate in May 2019, when 270 local residents were unemployed, and 5,110 employed, among a labor force of 5,380.

The national rate of unemployment during May was 13.0%, an improvement from April’s 14.4% but still 9.6% higher than the 3.4% rate in May 2019.

Mississippi’s jobless rate stood at 10.5% in May, down sharply from the 15.7% recorded in April but nearly double the 5.3% figure recorded one year ago.

May unemployment rates for select area counties, according to MDES, with April figures in parenthesis, are:

» Carroll, 8.4  (13.3)

» Coahoma, 15.1  (20.9)

» Grenada, 8.0 (12.9)

» Lafayette, 7.7 (11.6)

» Leflore, 10.7 (17.1)

» Montgomery, 8.9  (13.7)

» Panola, 11.6  (16.4)

» Quitman, 11.9  (16.2)

» Sunflower, 9.6  (14.1)

» Yalobusha, 10.7  (15.9)

At 23.5%, Tunica County recorded the highest unemployment rate in the Magnolia State, while Smith County’s 5.4% rate of joblessness was the best during May.

MDES reported that the number of the unemployed fell by 60,000 over the one-month period, while the employed total increased by 79,000 from April to May.

Employment analysts say that the decrease in the number of unemployed Mississippians and the increase in the nonfarm employment can be linked to COVID-19.

MDES said as more restrictions are eased, the number of jobless should continue to decrease while the nonfarm employment should continue to increase.