Coast Unemployment Down While Statewide Rate Is Up

All three coastal counties posted rates lower than this time one year ago. Jackson County's unemployment rate was 4.2 percent, while Hancock and Harrison county came in at 3.4 and 3.6 percent respectively.

The statewide jobless rate rose slightly in June.  Officials said job gains in construction and agriculture were offset by continuing layoffs in the furniture and manufacturing industries.

The state's unemployment rate was 5.3 percent in June, up from 5.2 percent in May and 4.4 percent in April, according to figures released Thursday by the Mississippi Employment Security Commission.

The nation's jobless rate in June stood at 4.7 percent, compared to 4.1 percent in May.

Most of the state's 82 counties saw their rates increase last month. A year ago, the June unemployment stood at 7.1 percent with student workers cited as the reason for the high figure.

"Summer workers cause the rate to rise throughout the summer, but it appears that the student workers were absorbed into the work force during June,'' said Curt Thompson, the MESC's executive director.

Thompson said the same trend of job gains and losses were expected for next month, which could show another increase.

Rankin County had the lowest unemployment rate at 2.3 percent, followed by DeSoto and Lamar counties tied at 2.5 percent. Holmes County led 16 counties in double figures with an 18.1 percent rate, followed by Jefferson County at 17.5 percent and Chickasaw County at 16.4 percent.