HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Chad Newell, president of the Area Development Partnership, says recent unemployment data for the Hattiesburg area shows that the Pine Belt has a “robust, strong economy.”
Figures from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security released in September show a 5.9% unemployment rate for the Hattiesburg Metropolitan Statistical Area.
For the same period, the U.S. had an overall unemployment rate of 7.7% and the state of Mississippi overall had a 6.8% rate of unemployment.
Figures for the previous month show the Hattiesburg MSA had a 7.2% unemployment rate.
At the height of the pandemic in April of this year, there was a 12.7% rate of unemployment in the Hattiesburg area.
“It’s a great trend,” Newell said. “When the unemployment rate’s declining, it means employment creation is climbing and that’s a really good combination to have."
”What it tells us is we have a robust, strong economy that is going to recover quicker than most, once we get into the post-pandemic era," Newell added.
Newell says the unemployment rate in the Hattiesburg MSA is also lower than any other MSA in the state.
Newell attended the groundbreaking Tuesday for a new Spire Inc. natural gas pipeline expansion in west Hattiesburg.