The county's unadjusted unemployment rate for January stood at 7.0 percent according to the latest figures released by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. Though the rate was up 0.5 percent from December due to the normal post-holiday employment cycle the figure showed significant change from one year previous.
In January 2013 the county's rate was 9.9 percent, 2.9 percent higher than the rate for January 2014.
Alcorn County had the lowest rate among immediately surrounding counties in Mississippi for January 2014. Prentiss County had the next lowest at 8.5 percent, followed by Tishomingo at 8.7 percent and Tippah County at 9.5 percent.
The county posted the 16th lowest unemployment rate in the state. Rankin County had the state's lowest rate at 4.5 percent. Clay County had the highest rate in the state at 17.4 percent.
The statewide unadjusted unemployment rate rose from 7.3 percent in December to 7.9 percent in January. The seasonally adjusted rate, taking into account normal seasonal fluctuates in unemployment, stood at 7.5 percent for January putting it at the lowest since November 2008.
Governor Phil Bryant lauded economic development efforts in the state for bringing lower unemployment.
“Our relentless commitment to economic development and our dedication to building a strong business climate in Mississippi are yielding results,” Bryant said in a statement released Wednesday. “I set a goal of seeing the unemployment rate in Mississippi fall to at least 7.5 percent, and preliminary figures show we have reached that benchmark. This success motivates us to continue working hard to connect even more Mississippians with jobs."