By NEMS Daily Journal
Northeast Mississippi’s unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level in nearly four years last month, falling to 8.6 percent.
That’s the lowest rate for the 16 counties in the region since November 2008, when it was 8.1 percent.
October’s rate was eight-tenths of a point lower than September and three points lower than October 2011.
Fifteen of the region’s counties posted lower rates than September.
The labor force – the number of people employed or actively seeking employment – was relatively unchanged from September to October. But the number of employed rose from 199,310 to 202,240.
October’s rate was the seventh time this year the region’s jobless rate dipped below 10 percent. Coming into 2012, the region endured double-digit rates in all but one of the previous 36 months.
Statewide, the unemployment rate was 8.9 percent, down from 9.2 percent from September.
State and national 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.
Using unadjusted numbers, the state’s jobless rate was 8.3 percent inn October, down from 9.1 percent in September and 10.6 percent a year earlier.
The number of unemployed people across the state fell to about 119,500 in October from 123,000 in September.
Overall, unemployment rates fell in 37 states and the District of Columbia, rose in seven and were flat in six. Nevada had the highest unemployment rate at 11.5 percent, and North Dakota had the lowest at 3.1 percent.
The national unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent in October, essentially unchanged from September but was 1 percentage point lower than in October 2011.