With last year's closure of Burlington Industries in Stonewall, almost 900 people lost their jobs. Following the closure, unemployment figures last summer in Clarke County skyrocketed to just over 18 percent, making it at one point, the highest in the state.
That's no longer the case. A year later and numbers from July show the unemployment rate in Clarke County has not only dropped to eight percent but out of 82 counties in the state for last month, Clarke County was the one that made the most improvement.
While employment analysts say they cannot necessarily credit this improvement to new jobs moving into the area, they say it appears at least that perhaps many of the residents have found jobs in surrounding counties.
Meanwhile, as for other counties in East Mississippi here are the results:
Neshoba County recorded the lowest unemployment rate at 4.4 percent, followed by Newton County with 6.9 percent, Jasper with 7.3 percent followed by Lauderdale and Clarke Counties. The county with highest unemployment rate in our area was Kemper.
Although some gains are being made, employment analysts say with 36 counties having double digit unemployment figures last month, compared to 21 counties at the same time last year things overall are getting worse before better.