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Local unemployment rate sees small increase

Lincoln County’s unemployment rate was up a tenth of a percentfor April, while the state’s overall rate dropped, accordign torecent statistics from the Mississippi Department of EmploymentSecurity.

Lincoln County was up from 6.2 percent in March to 6.3 percentin April, while the state’s rate dropped from March’s 5.9 percentto 5.5 percent.

Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Cliff Brumfieldsaid the slight increase is not uncommon to the Lincoln County areafor spring and early summer.

“We’re seeing the typical increase that comes at this time ofyear,” he said. “Summer generally sees a slight uptick in theunemployment rate due to seasonal work, but also due to people whoare temporarily away from their full-time jobs.”

Other area counties posted small to moderate declines over thetwo-month period.

Copiah County improved from March’s 6.3 percent to 6.2 percent.Franklin County’s unemployment rate practically plummeted, fallingfrom 6.4 percent in March to 5.8 percent in April.

Pike County was down from 6.3 percent to 6.2 percent, whileWalthall’s numbers were down from 6 percent in March to 5.8 inApril.

Amite County was down .2 of a point, with a 6.1 percentunemployment rate for April after March’s 6.3 percent.

Lawrence County held steady for the third month at 6.6 percent,while Jefferson county still leads the state in unemployment withan 10.6 rate. That, however, is down from March’s 11.9 percent.

Brumfield also pointed back to the lumber industry lull as apossible contributing factor to the unemployment rates in thearea.

“The current soft market in the timber industry is surely also acontributing factor in this increase, however it’s not alarming andwe expect these numbers to show a decrease in a couple of months,”he said.

There may, however, be a continued upward trend before thenumbers turn down, Brumfield said.

“We can expect to see an additional slight increase in nextmonth’s numbers as well,” he said, adding things should improve inmonths to follow.