By NEMS Daily Journal
The unemployment rate for Northeast Mississippi dropped two percentage points in August, to 8.9 percent.
That matched the lowest rate for the year, posted by the 16-county region in April and May.
August’s jobless rate ended two straight months of double-digit unemployment in the region that followed five straight months of rates under 10 percent.
Statewide, the unemployment rate was 9.1 percent, down a tenth of a percent from July.
The state figures are based on seasonally adjusted data, which removes the effects of regular patterns such as holidays, opening and closing of school and other recurring events.
County numbers are released as unadjusted figures only.
Still, the August jobless rate in the region was 2.4 points lower than August 2011.
MDES estimates 200,370 were employed in the region last month, with 19,460 unemployed. A year earlier, there were 195,270 employed and 25,280 unemployed.
According to a report last week, the state’s jobless level has fallen from a post-recession peak of 10.9 percent in August 2011.
In Northeast Mississippi, peak joblessness hit 13 percent in January 2010, but the region endured 35 straight months of double-digit unemployment from April 2010 until January this year.
In August, 11 of the region’s 16 counties had unemployment under 10 percent. Leading the way were Lafayette (6.5), Pontotoc (7.4), Union (7.5) and Itawamba (7.8). Northeast Mississippi’s largest county, Lee, was at 8.1 percent, the lowest August rate in four years.