Christmas jobs help cut local jobless rate

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 31, 2001

[01/31/01] Extra employment at Christmas helped fuel a 0.6 percentage point drop in the jobless rate for Warren County, and the same factor is being given credit for the same drop statewide.

“That’s the only thing I can think of,” said Bill Ray of the Vicksburg office of the Mississippi Employment Security Commission.

Warren County’s unemployment rate dropped from 4.1 percent in November to 3.5 percent in December. Statewide, the rate dropped from a November figure of 4.9 percent to December’s 4.3 percent. Nationally, the rate also dropped from 3.8 percent to 3.7.

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Ray also gave credit for Warren County’s consistently low unemployment rate to construction under way. The new River Region Health System hospital is one project that has brought many jobs for workers. The City of Vicksburg’s Jackson Street Creative Resource Center is another.

Some area counties had vastly higher jobless rates.

Issaquena County held the December record for having the highest unemployment rate at 20.9 percent. That figure was down slightly from the November rate of 21.7 percent.

Sharkey County had the third-worst unemployment rate at 17.2 percent, up from November’s 16.8 percent.

Both Sharkey and Issaquena counties and sparsely populated.

Claiborne County’s rate improved in December at 9.7 percent compared to 12.5 percent in November.

Unemployment rates measure the number of people actively seeking a place in the workforce who have not been able find jobs.