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Unemployment rate falls in state

By Staff
From staff, wire reports
Aug. 30, 2001
JACKSON Mississippi's jobless rate fell for the month of July, with officials citing big gains in agriculture as one of the main reasons.
The state's unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in July, down from 5.3 percent in May, according to figures released Wednesday by the Mississippi Employment Security Commission.
Overall the employment numbers are very positive,'' said Curt Thompson, the MESC's executive director. Most counties saw their unemployment rates decrease and the statewide rate was 1.2 percentage points lower than last July.''
Unemployment also fell in East Central Mississippi, including Clarke, Kemper, Lauderdale and Newton counties.
Kemper County saw the biggest drop, with its rate falling from 9.5 percent in June to 7.6 percent in July. Clarke County's rate fell from 6.5 to 6, Lauderdale County's rate fell from 5.1 to 4.5 and Newton County's rate fell from 4.6 to 4.5.
The nation's jobless rate in July stood at 4.7 percent, the same rate for June.
Thompson said agriculture gained 5,600 jobs in Mississippi during July. He said increased jobs also were reported in the construction, food, financial and amusement trades. Overall employment rose by 7,500 to 1.25 million jobs in July.
Thompson said manufacturing jobs fell by 2,100 in July. He said most of the jobs were in industrial machinery category.
Lamar County had the lowest unemployment rate at 2.1 percent, followed by Rankin and DeSoto counties tied at 2.2 percent and Lafayette County at 2.5 percent.
Seven counties had double-digit jobless rates, led by Holmes County at 16.8 percent, followed by Jefferson County at 16.1 percent, Chickasaw County at 16.4 percent, Issaquena at 11.9 percent, Quitman at 10.8 percent, Monroe at 10.8 percent and Sunflower at 10 percent.

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