Area Jobless rate up

By By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
Nov. 29, 2000
As in other parts of the state, unemployment rates rose in East Mississippi in October, but Algene McQuarters of the Mississippi Employment Security Commission's office said Tuesday they may be headed down soon.
While the state's unemployment rate climbed from 4.8 percent in September to 5.1 percent in October, the rise was even sharper in East Mississippi.
Kemper County led the way, jumping from 7.2 percent in September to 9.8 percent in October.
Newton County experienced an almost 2 percent increase from September to October, from 4.6 to 6.4 percent. Noxubee County jumped from 8.3 to 8.7 and Lauderdale County went from 5.3 to 6 percent.
Clarke County was the only county in the area to experience a decline in its unemployment rate, from 8.6 to 8.5 percent.
McQuarters attributed the increase to manufacturers who may have already hit their holiday peaks.
However, McQuarters said that with the Christmas season near, area retailers will begin hiring extra employees to handle more customers.
Lafayette County recorded the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 1.67 percent, while Holmes County had the state's highest rate at 14.7 percent.
Ben Alexander is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at