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By the Numbers: Lafayette County unemployment rates increase

Lafayette County saw a significant increase in unemployment rates for April 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a summary released by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, the rate of unemployment for April 2020 in Lafayette County is 11.1 percent. The rate of unemployment for April 2019 was 4.0 percent.

Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, the state of Mississippi has seen an increase of over 15 percent in unemployment. 

While the data for May 2020 is not yet available through MDES, data analysis firm WalletHub released their own projection for the month.

“The state’s economy is taking a serious hit, which in turn affects Mississippi’s residents,” Jill Gonzalez, an analyst for WalletHub, said.

According to WalletHub, Mississippi was the fourth-most state hit by unemployment claims, with 24,348 being reported for the week of May 18, 2020, versus 2,210 the week of May 20, 2019. 

“WalletHub has been tracking the increases since mid-March when the crisis started,” Gonzalez said. “Historical data is available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

Since the start of the pandemic, there has been an increase of 2,269.54 percent in unemployment claims, according to WalletHub. Between the week of March 16, 2020 and May 18, 2020, 293,906 claims for unemployment were made in Mississippi. The previous year, there were 12, 950 claims between March 18 and May 20. 

“It will be difficult for businesses to reboot after this zero activity period,” Gonzalez said. “Some of the smaller businesses will not be able to recover at all. State authorities will have to offer their support, financially and otherwise, to local businesses in an effort to restart the economy.”