December Miss. jobless rate dips to 10.4 percent

By Jeff Amy/The Associated Press

JACKSON — Mississippi’s unemployment rate dipped to 10.4 percent in December, as more people withdrew from the labor force.

The jobless rate is down from 10.5 percent in November, but above the 10.2 percent rate in December 2010. Mississippi had the fourth-highest jobless rate among the states in December.

The number of unemployed people fell from 142,500 in November to 140,000 in December, according to seasonally adjusted figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The labor force fell by about 3,000 people, accounting for the dip in unemployed people.

Officials measure the unemployment rate by asking people if they have a job. Each month, they also ask employers how many people are on payrolls.

Mississippi payrolls fell by 3,600 from November to December, when seasonally adjusted, and were 2,700 above year-ago levels.