Region’s jobless rate at 5-year low

Economic NewsDaily Journal

The unemployment rate for Northeast Mississippi in November was 8.2 percent, the lowest it’s been in five years.

The preliminary figures were released by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security this week, and if the numbers stand, last month’s rate would be the lowest since November 2008, when unemployment for the 16-county region was 8.1 percent.

The next three years – as the Great Recession tightened its grip – the region endured double-digit unemployment rates, finally broken in February 2012.

Statewide, the November unemployment rate was 8.3 percent, a drop of two-tenths of a percentage point from October.

Nationally, the rate was 7 percent, down from 7.3 percent in October.

State and national numbers are adjusted to cancel out normal seasonal changes, while county numbers are not adjusted.

In Northeast Mississippi, 12 of the region’s counties had unemployment rates under 10 percent. But even as Lafayette County’s 5.2 percent was the lowest in the region and third-lowest statewide, Clay County’s 16.8 percent was the highest rate in the state.

So far this year, the jobless rate in Northeast Mississippi is averaging 9.4 percent, matching last year’s average rate.