Counties see March jobless rate declines

Published 7:23 pm Friday, May 28, 2010

With an almost one-point drop, Lincoln County claimed thesecond-lowest March unemployment rate in the area and ranked 24thamong 82 counties statewide, according to the latest totals fromthe Mississippi Employment Security Commission.

With an unemployment rate just equal to the state average, CopiahCounty topped Lincoln County’s neighbors with the lowest joblessrate of 11.1 percent, down 1.1 percent from February’s 12.2percent. That put Copiah at number 21 in the state for lowestunemployment rate.

Lincoln County’s numbers were down almost a point from February’s12.4 percent, coming in for March at 11.5 percent.

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Brookhaven Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Executive VicePresident Cliff Brumfield said the market is slowly making acomeback.

“As jobs are replaced and the market improves, there are still manysectors that still have yet to begin recovery,” he said. “Progressis slowly returning.”

Pike County came in at number 34 in the state with an unemploymentrate for March of 12.1 percent, down from the prior month’s 12.7percent. Amite County dropped more than a point from 13.5 inFebruary to 12.4 in March.

Meanwhile, Lawrence’s February 13.6 percent was down to 12.5percent in March. Franklin County showed a substantial drop to 13.3percent in March from the previous month’s 14.9 percent, whileWalthall also dropped more than a point from 15.1 percent to 14percent.

Jefferson County’s rate was down from 19.7 percent in February to18.3 percent in March, which put it as the sixth-highest in thestate. Jefferson County is regularly in and out of the two or threehighest jobless rates in the state.

Brumfield said the announcement of several new industries andbusinesses in recent months that are in the process of moving toLincoln County bodes well for the future of the area, and willhopefully add to the positive momentum of the current market.

“Our numbers as expected improved, but once again we continue tofollow the state’s trend,” he said. “It should be noted that thoughwe had numerous announcements of new industries and employers inthe area, the numbers have yet to be realized since the majority ofjobs are not yet ready to be filled.”