County sees increase in March jobless rate

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Despite an increase in its jobless rate for March, LincolnCounty remained in a good position regionally, chamber of commerceofficials said.

At 7.4 percent for March, Lincoln County’s rate climbedsix-tenths of a point over February, according to the latest totalsfrom the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

“The newest unemployment numbers parallel state and nationaltrends with a slight increase over last month’s percentages,” saidCliff Brumfield, Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerceexecutive vice president.

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Nevertheless, Brumfield said Lincoln County’s claim to thesecond-lowest rate in southwest Mississippi is a strong indicatorthat it is performing well despite the national economy. AmiteCounty had the lowest rate in March with a two-tenths of a pointincrease to 7.1 percent.

The state rate for March rose a slight one-tenth of a point to 7percent. MDES officials cited weather as a factor for theincrease.

“Inclement weather conditions across the state may have put adamper on outdoor economic endeavors for March,” said Liz Barnett,public information director, “but with better weather conditions inApril, and based on historical documentation, April’s rate shouldimprove.”

Brumfield echoed state officials in discussing Lincoln County’sincrease.

“Wet weather in the past month had an impact on jobs related tooutdoors and other seasonal issues,” he said.

Lincoln County was among four seeing increases from February toMarch. Jobless rate activity in March included:

* Pike County: up one-tenth to 8.2 percent.

* Lawrence County: one three-tenths to 7.5 percent.

* Copiah County: up one-tenth to 7.8 percent.

* Franklin County: steady at 8.6 percent.

* Walthall County: steady at 7.8 percent.

* Adam County: down four-tenths to 7.9 percent.

* Jefferson County: down 1.1 points to 13.4 percent.