County sees slight jump in jobless rate
Published 6:00 am Wednesday, February 9, 2005
>Lincoln County unemployment inched up slightly in Decemberas other area counties saw modest movement in their rates for thefinal month of 2004, according to totals from the MississippiDepartment of Employment Security.
At 5.1 percent, Lincoln County’s rate was up two-tenths fromNovember.
“I think our increase, however slight, is attributable to thenumber of jobs released due to the end of the year,” said CliffBrumfield, Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce executivevice-president.
With the rate, Lincoln County maintained the second-lowest areajobless total and placed 25th-lowest in statewide rankings.Brumfield said that was good news for the community.
“It bodes well for Lincoln County that our numbers aresignificantly lower than the average for the state of Mississippiand are on par with the U.S. average,” Brumfield said.
The Mississippi average for December was 5.9 percent, which wasunchanged from November. The U.S. average in December was 5.1percent.
Lincoln County was among 35 counties posting rates less than thestate average. Lamar and Rankin counties had the lowest rates at2.5 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively.
Again claiming the lowest southwest Mississippi jobless rate wasAmite County. Its 4.3 percent total was also up two-tenths of apoint.
Most other area counties saw small drops in their Decemberjobless rates.
Copiah’s rate fell three-tenths to 7.5 percent. LawrenceCounty’s total was down two-tenths to 5.8 percent and Pike County’srate was 6.1 percent, a decline of only one-tenth.
Walthall County had the largest drop in its jobless rate. Thecounty’s December total was 5.8 percent, down seven-tenths.
Franklin County’s rate held steady in December at 8.1percent.
Jefferson County again saw the largest increase with a 1.2-pointclimb to 17.7 percent. That was the third-highest rate in the statebehind Sharkey County at 19.5 percent and Issaquena County at 18percent.