County unemploymentdrops to 3.3 percent

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 1, 2001

[9/30/01]For the second month in a row, Warren County posted an unemployment rate of 3.3 percent, placing it in the top 10 counties in Mississippi.

According to information released by the Mississippi Employment Security Commission, Warren County improved its ranking from 14th in July to 10th in August, the most-recent month of unemployment figures released.

“There were no dramatic changes in the economy,” said John Nelson of the Vicksburg MESC office.

As in the past, he gave credit for the low unemployment rate to the strong and diverse economy in the county.

“Anybody who wants to work, there are jobs out there for them,” he said.

During the same time period, the state’s unemployment rate rose slightly from July’s 4.7 percent to 5 percent in August.

“The August increase in the unemployment rate is expected,” said Curt Thompson, MESC’s executive director. “Each year we usually see a small increase in the rate in August as agricultural work cuts back and students give up their summer jobs to return to school.”

Nationally, the unemployment rate also rose from 4.7 percent to 4.9 percent.

Thompson said an encouraging sign was that the August rate was significantly lower than last year.

“Last August the rate was 5.8 percent while this year it is 0.8 of a percentage point lower,” he said.

Statewide, job gains were posted in the lumber and wood products, metal products and education sectors. Construction, trade, services and transportation and utilities reported job losses.

Thompson said he expected the rate to drop some in September and October as agriculture adds jobs for harvest and education workers return to school.

Any effects on Mississippi’s workforce from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., will appear in October’s unemployment numbers.

The unemployment rate in Issaquena County rose from a rate of 11.9 percent in July to 13.1 in August; in Sharkey County the rate dropped from 8.4 percent to 7.4 percent, and in Claiborne the rate dropped from 8.1 to 7.5 percent.