Pine Belt cities on trend with state unemployment rate

Pine Belt cities on trend with state unemployment rate

PETAL, MS (WDAM) - Mississippi's unemployment rate fell to a record low of 4.9 percent, the lowest rate since the Department of Labor began publishing state unemployment rates in 1976.

The record numbers mirror the national average.

Petal Mayor Hal Marx said the city of Petal and Forrest County is seeing growth.

"I would say with the growth we've had in retail and restaurants over the last year or two, we've obviously created some new jobs here in Petal," Mayor Marx said.

Mayor Marx said new businesses mean less people searching for jobs.

"We're here to try to make a business friendly-environment, try to help businesses get started and want to locate here, and with that comes jobs," Marx said.

For the month of May, the number of people looking for work fell by 2600, and for the year 2017 more than 35,000 people found work, according to state data.

Mayor Marx said a few things are working for his city.

"We've tried to reduce our regulations, we've tried to simplify some our codes, and we've also not had a tax increase in more than in 11 years," Marx said.