Local numbers dropping

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 19, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; The state&8217;s unemployment rates rose slightly in June to 8 percent, one tenth of a point lower than the same month in 2005.

For Adams and surrounding counties, however, unemployment rates were lower than in June a year ago, indicating that more people who are looking are finding jobs this year than last.

Adams County dropped from 9.9 percent in June 2005 to 8.1 in 2006; Amite County, 8.5 to 8.1 percent; Franklin, 9.6 to 8.9 percent; Wilkinson, 11.9 to 9.5 percent; and Jefferson, 16.7 to 15.2, the second highest unemployment rate in the state.

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The month of June traditionally sees a higher rate of unemployment, said Dianne Bell of the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

&8220;Youth enter the labor force at this time,&8221; Bell said. &8220;There simply are more students looking for jobs than there are jobs available.&8221;

Students who have found summer jobs also account for the increase in the number of people who are employed statewide.

The number of unemployed workers rose by 9,000 to 106,400 who are seeking but not finding jobs; the number of employed rose by 3,800 to a total of 1.3 million workers in the state.

Bell said there were no obvious trends in the employment numbers in Southwest Mississippi.

Statewide, the largest jump in job gains was in leisure and hospitality, with 1,400 new jobs reported.

Construction was next, with 600 new jobs.

Statewide, DeSoto County had the lowest unemployment rate at 4.6 percent; Rankin County was next with 4.8 percent.

The highest unemployment rate in the state for June 2006 was Noxubee with 15.5 percent.

The U.S. unemployment rate for June was 4.6, the same as for June 2005.