While about 180 fewer people were in the workforce in December compared to the previous year, Neshoba County’s unemployment rate remained at 4.7 percent.

The jobless rate in November was also at 4.7 percent.

For calendar year 2017, the county’s jobless rate averaged 5 percent, a drop from the previous year when it was 5.8 percent.

The county’s labor force dipped to 10,270 in December 2017, which is a 37 percent drop from a 1998 high of 16,430.

Mississippi unemployment rate for December was at 4.5 percent.

Neshoba County’s lowest December rate in records dating back to 1990 was in 1995 and 1996 when it was at 2.7 percent. The highest during that period came in 2009 and 2010 when it soared to 9.7 percent.

The unemployment rate is calculated by a survey that asks how many people are looking for a job. A second survey each month asks employers how many people are on their payrolls, a measure many economists use as their top labor market indicator.

Additionally, labor statistics do not count someone who is out of work but not looking for a job as unemployed.

Twenty-nine counties in Mississippi posted December 2017 unemployment rates less than or equal to the state’s rate of 4.5 percent. Lamar, Rankin and Union counties posted the lowest unemployment rate for the month of December at 3.2 percent followed by DeSoto County at 3.3 percent.  

Jefferson County had the highest unemployment rate for December at 10.8 percent followed by Issaquena County at 10.2 percent.

December jobless rates in adjoining counties were:

• Winston: 5.7 percent

• Kemper, 6.9 percent.

• Lauderdale, 4.8 percent.

• Newton, 5 percent.

• Scott, 3.5 percent.

• Leake, 5 percent.

• Attala, 6 percent.