By NEMS Daily Journal
More people held jobs in Northeast Mississippi in September, even as the unemployment rate rose.
The Mississippi Department of Employment Security released preliminary numbers Wednesday.
The agency’s figures showed the region’s unemployment rate increased half a percentage point to 9.4 percent in September. The jobless rate in August for the 16-county region was a cumulative 8.9 percent.
Students returning to school affected the August rate because they were no longer looking for jobs.
The state unemployment rate in September was 9.2 percent, up from 9.1 percent in August.
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.
On an unadjusted basis, Mississippi’s jobless rate was 9 percent in September, while the national rate was 7.6 percent.
In Northeast Mississippi, 14 counties’ rates rose from August to September. Seven counties posted double-digit rates.
Lafayette County had the lowest jobless rate in the region at 6.6 percent. Union (7.9 percent) Pontotoc (8.0) and Lee (8.9) were the next lowest.
Clay County’s 17.1 percent rate was the highest in the state.
Despite the higher rates, the region employed more people in September than August.
Last month, 202,400 held jobs, nearly 2,000 more than in August. The number of unemployed also was lower in September – 21,030 versus 19,550 a month earlier.