Jobless rate falls to 11.2% for region

By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal

Northeast Mississippi’s employment picture got a little better Wednesday, with 15 of 16 counties posting lower jobless rates in February than a month earlier.
Still, the 11.2 percent unemployment rate marked the 24th time in the past 25 months that the region as a whole has endured double-digit rates.
But February’s numbers, provided by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, were an improvement over January’s 11.9 percent showing and the 13.7 percent in February 2010.
Statewide, the seasonally adjusted jobless rate for February was 10.2 percent, up from 10.1 percent in January.
Only national and state figures are seasonally adjusted. The county and regional rates are calculated using non-seasonally adjusted data.
Seasonally adjusted data removes the effects of events that follow a yearly pattern influenced by weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools and other recurring seasonal events, said the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, which provided the figures.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the state’s unemployment rate was 10.4 percent in February, down from January’s 10.7 percent.
In Northeast Mississippi, MDES estimated 194,250 people were employed, compared to 188,880 a month earlier and 180,680 a year ago.
The number of unemployed in February was 24,580, compared to 25,440 in January.
Also during the month, 13 of the region’s counties recorded double-digit rates. Lafayette County (8.5 percent) posted the lowest rate in the region, followed by Pontotoc County (9.7) and Lee County (9.9).
Contact Dennis Seid at (662) 678-1578 or dennis.seid@journalinc.com.