State’s jobless rate dropped to 4.7 percent during July

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 30, 2001

AP and staff reports

Mississippi’s jobless rate dropped to 4.7 percent in July with officials citing big job gains in agriculture.

Local jobless rates included Adams County, with 6.1 percent; Franklin County, with 7 percent; Wilkinson, with 9.1 percent; and Jefferson, with 16.1 percent.

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The state’s unemployment rate was 5.3 percent in June, up from 5.2 percent in May, according to figures released Wednesday by the Mississippi Employment Security Commission.

The nation’s jobless rate in July also stood at 4.7 percent.

&uot;Overall the employment numbers are very positive,&uot; said Curt Thompson, the MESC’s executive director. &uot;Most counties saw their unemployment rates decrease and the statewide rate was 1.2 percentage points lower than last July.&uot;

Thompson said agriculture gained 5,600 jobs 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.