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Unemployment rates hold steady for October

Lincoln County’s unemployment rates stayed steady at 6 percentfrom September to October, according to the latest figures from theMississippi Department of Employment Security.

Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Executive VicePresident Cliff Brumfield said he expects the county’s numbers tostay even for the next few months.

“I believe we’ll see similar numbers through January,” he said.”Though school will be out for a very short period of time, it willactually allow some local citizens of working age to pick uppart-time employment from local retailers during this busy time ofyear.”

Brumfield also said local business growth will affect the localeconomy, thus boosting employment in Lincoln County.

“I think it will affect us in several ways,” he said. “It willhelp grow our local tax base as well as bringing more shoppingdollars to Brookhaven, and it will also increase our attractivenessto out of town shoppers. Hopefully in turn they’ll spend additionalshopping dollars, allowing for greater economic opportunities forour existing retail base.”

Copiah County recorded a 0.2 percent drop, from 7.1 percent inSeptember to 6.9 percent in October. Lawrence County also recordeda drop from 7.1 percent in September to October’s 6.8 percent.

Walthall County dropped considerably from 6.6 percent to 5.9percent in October, and Pike is down from 6.3 percent in Septemberto 6 percent in October.

Franklin County also recorded a sizable drop in unemploymentfrom 6.8 percent to 6.2 percent in October.

Amite County also recorded the only rise in the area, going from6.2 percent in September to 6.3 percent in October.

Jefferson County still has the second-highest unemployment ratein the state, with 11.4 percent in October, down from 12.5 percentfor September.

Statewide, unemployment rates dropped slightly from September’s6.1 percent to 5.9 percent in October.

MDES Chief of Labor Market Information Wayne Gasson saidNovember should remain fairly even-keel statewide.

“If past trends hold true, labor force conditions for Novembershould not change significantly for the state as a whole,” he said.”Local areas with a concentration of retail jobs should see lowerrates, while those dependent on agricultural jobs might showincreased unemployment.”

Rankin and Lafayette counties held the lowest unemployment ratesfor October with 3.9 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively.