Our local economy

Two recent items in the news point to the state of the economy in New Albany and Union County.

First, our unemployment rate in Union County for June is 6.9 percent, which is the lowest among all the counties in Northeast Mississippi. Lafayette County has historically had the lowest rate. Lafayette’s rate is 7.4 percent.

Even better, the Union County rate for June a year ago was 7.7 percent, which demonstrates an improved economy in our area.

The second item of interest is sales tax growth. New Albany has a 2.5 percent rate of growth, which means consumer spending is increasing in New Albany. That compares with a 3.3 percent growth rate in Pontotoc, a 1.5 percent growth rate in Ripley and a 1.4 percent growth rate in Tupelo.

Of course, Tupelo’s actual number is so much larger than any of the others that maintaining a growth rate with, say, New Albany would be much more difficult.

To find the real growth engine in our region, though, we need to look to Oxford, which is enjoying a 5.4 percent growth rate. The growth in sales in Oxford is easy see on a drive through the city, where construction is booming.

But here in New Albany and Union County, we should be pleased with our improving economy. Employment and consumer spending in our area are both headed in the right direction.