Jobless rate decreases

Published 5:00 am Friday, November 2, 2007

Lincoln County recorded lower unemployment rates than othersurrounding counties and was just slightly lower than the stateaverage for the month of September, according to the MississippiDepartment of Employment Security.

WIN Jobs Center Director David Holland said Lincoln County ismoving up in the state as well.

“Looking at county-by-county rankings, we moved up from 30thlowest in the state in August to September where we’re ranked 26 in82 counties,” Holland said.

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Lincoln County posted a rate of 6 percent in September, downfrom 6.2 percent in August.

Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Executive VicePresident Cliff Brumfield said the upswing in employment ispartially seasonal.

“There’s a slight uptick in the employment as the IndustrialPark with several industries as well as the large distributioncenters gearing up for the holiday season,” he said. “We’ve alsoseen an end of summer unemployment that don’t have work whenschools are out are back working.”

Holland agreed that the end of summer helps lower unemploymentrates, with summer job holders going back to different educationalfields. He said job hunters had slacked off with the advent offall.

Brumfield said the job market is also still ripe as newbusinesses are coming into the area.

“There’s moderate growth in retail sectors, and passers-by alongHighway 51 can see Help Wanted signs in many area businesses,” saidBrumfield. “It’s no shock to me that unemployment figures are veryhealthy for Lincoln County, which is an excellent indicator forLincoln County’s economy.”

In other parts of Southwest Mississippi, Copiah County’s ratewas up just a bit, rising from 7 percent to 7.1.

Lawrence County rose from 6.2 percent in August to 7.1 percentin September. Walthall and Franklin both stayed steady for thetwo-month period, with Walthall at 6.6 percent and Franklin at 6.8percent.

Pike County was down slightly at 6.3 percent for September afterAugust’s 6.6 percent, and Amite County also recorded a 0.3 percentdrop, going from 6.5 percent to 6.2 percent in September.

Jefferson County had the second-highest unemployment rate in thestate with 12.5 percent for September, but that was down fromAugust’s 15.7 percent.