Jobless rate on the rise
By By Fredie Carmichael/The Meridian Star
June 27, 2001
As the mercury rises this summer, so does the state's unemployment rate.
The Mississippi Employment Security Commission announced Tuesday that the state's unemployment rate rose from 4.4 percent in April to 5.2 percent in May.
Lauderdale County saw a similar rise from 4.3 percent to 5.1 percent.
MESC Executive Director Curt Thompson said he is not surprised by the climbing rate.
The numbers can also be deceiving according to the MESC. Although the state's rate increased, the number of people with jobs also increased by 3,000 people. But with those extra jobs came 14,300 new people seeking jobs, thus the increase of the rate.
Lauderdale County ranked 34 in unemployment among Mississippi's 82 counties.
Frank Thompson of the East Mississippi Business Development Corporation said even though the rate is up from the April, it is still lower than in years past at this time.
Thompson also said the area has done a good job of weathering the storm of the declining economy.
Thompson foresees this area benefiting from the automobile industry, and said there's a possibility Meridian might house a Nissan-related plant.
All but one of the counties in The Meridian Star's coverage area saw an unemployment increase from April to May. Neshoba County's April rate was 4.2 percent, compared to a 4.3 percent unemployment in May.
Clarke County had the area's highest rate, at 8 percent, while Neshoba had the smallest.
National rate falls
The national rate of unemployment fell from 4.2 percent to 4.1 percent from April to May. That number is two-tenths of a point higher than last year's rate of 3.9 in May. About 80,000 more people had jobs nationwide in May than in April.
Fredie Carmichael is a staff writer for The Meridian Star, call him at 693-1551, ext. 3228 or E-mail him at email@example.com.