Workforce grows in Miss-Lou

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 29, 2006



BATON ROUGE &8212; The Concordia Parish October unemployment rate for is down 7.4 points from a year ago.

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According to a Tuesday press release from the Louisiana Department of Labor, since October 2005, 75,500 new workers have joined the state&8217;s workforce, according to the October 2006 nonfarm employment estimates.

&8220;Louisiana&8217;s non- farm workforce has grown from its lowest level of 1,718,900 in October 2005, after hurricanes Katrina and Rita, to 1,794,600 in October, 2006,&8221; Louisiana Secretary of Labor John Warner Smith stated. &8220;Louisiana is continuing to come back as residents repair and rebuild their homes and employers continue to reestablish and expand their businesses.&8221;

According to the release, the unemployment rate for October 2006, increased slightly to 4.2 percent from the September rate of 3.7 percent. The state&8217;s rate was still below the October national unemployment rate of 4.4 percent.

The state&8217;s civilian labor force for October 2006, increased to 1,870,152 from 1,859,347 in September. The number of employed in October increased to 1,791,470 from 1,790,744 in September.

Louisiana&8217;s unemployed for October increased to 78,682, from 68,603 in September as additional individuals entered the labor force to look for work.

In Mississippi, the Adams County October unemployment rate was down 5.8 points from a year ago in the same month, when it was 12.8 percent in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina evacuees.

At 7 percent for October 2006, the Adams County rate was slightly higher than the state rate for the same period.

Mississippi&8217;s unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point in October to 6.6 percent.

The jobless rate was 6.8 percent in September. A year ago, the 9.1 percent for October came during the continued recovery from Hurricane Katrina.

The Mississippi Department of Employment Security, which released the latest numbers Wednesday, said preliminary figures showed that the number of employed Mississippians rose by 11,200 while the number unemployed fell by 3,100.

The national unemployment rate was 4.1 percent.

&8220;Most counties reported unemployment rates that were similar to or lower than amounts in September, except areas affected by local layoffs,&8221; said Wayne Gasson, MDES&8217; chief of market information.

&8220;Employment gains in certain manufacturing industries and in professional and business services contributed to the overall improvement for the state.&8221;

The lowest unemployment rates were in DeSoto and Lafayette counties at 4 percent and Lamar and Rankin counties at 4.1 percent.

Clay County had the highest unemployment rate at 15.7 percent. Noxubee and Jefferson counties were next at 12.5.

In other southwestern Mississippi counties, Franklin County was 6.9 percent; Amite was 6.3; and Wilkinson was 7.5, down from 18.9 in October 2005. percent