Jobless rate improving slightly

By BRENDA OWEN
Pontotoc Progress

With warmer weather coming on, more people are getting out and going to work, according to the latest statistics which show Pontotoc County’s unemployment rate falling slightly from the previous month’s 6.9 percent to 6.7 percent for March.
The state’s economy also continued to show signs of recovery in march as the unadjusted jobless rate fell six-tenths of a point to stand at 8.0 percent, the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) hs announced.
The number of unemployed Mississippians declined by 8,900 while the number of employed showed little change from February’s numbers.
The nation’s unadjusted rate of 4.8 percent fell three-tenths of a percentage point while the seasonally adjusted rate of 4,7 was down by .1 percent.
Areas depend on farm-related jobs showed the higher job gains due to workers beginning spring planting activities. However, coastal counties continued to show job gains due to continued hurricane clean-up and reconstruction contracts.
Forty-two counties reported unemployment rates equal to or less than Mississippi’s 8.0 percentage rate. Four counties had rates below five percent, topped by Desoto at 4.4 and Rankin at 4.6 percent, and followed by Lafayette and Lamar counties each with 4.7 percent. Eighteen counties posted double-digit unemployment rates, with Harrison having the highest rate of 15.0 followed by Hancock at 14.7 percent.
“As weather conditions warm up and storm-damaged areas persist in rebuilding, planting will begin in the fields and businesses will reopen and rehire. This should cause the employment rate to increase and the unemployment to decrease for the month of April,” said Wayne Gasson, MDES chief of Labor Market Information.