By Daily Journal and Associated Press
The unemployment rate in the 16 counties of Northeast Mississippi in November dropped a full percentage point from October, matching the lowest rate of the year at 10.6 percent.
November’s jobless rate matched April’s and May’s figures. For the region, the highest rate for the year peaked at 12.1 percent, in July.
In November 2010, the unemployment rate was 11.1 percent.
All 16 counties in the region posted lower rates in November compared to a month earlier.
Despite the big drop from October to November, the region’s jobless rate has been stuck in double digits for 33 of the past 34 months. And overall, the number of employed stayed relatively flat.
Statewide, the unemployment rate dropped to 10.5 in November, as some people gave up looking for jobs.
That’s down from 10.6 percent in October, but above the 10.2 percent rate in November 2010. Mississippi remains tied for the third-highest jobless rate in the nation.
Unemployment rates fell in 79 of 82 counties, and were level in the other three. But those numbers aren’t adjusted to smooth out normal seasonal fluctuations.
The national unemployment rate fell to 8.6 percent in November from 9 percent in October. Officials measure the unemployment rate by asking people if they have a job. But each month, they also ask employers how many people are on their payrolls.
That separate survey found Mississippi job totals rose by 2,900 in November, when seasonally adjusted, and were 10,500 above year-ago levels. Many economists use the payroll number as their primary indicator of job-market health. It shows that Mississippi payrolls remain almost 5 percent below their prerecession peak, an amount that represents about 55,000 jobs.
Manufacturing was the only major employment sector where employment shrank in November. Growing most strongly was the construction sector, which is trying to climb back from a steep decline in jobs during the recession. Also posting strong growth during the month was the leisure and hospitality sector, even though the state’s casinos are winning less money from gamblers.