JACKSON – Mississippi’s unemployment rate fell to 8 percent in December, as people continued to drop out of the labor force.
A separate survey shows state employer payrolls rising slowly.
Both sets of figures — adjusted to cancel out normal seasonal changes — were released Tuesday by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
It’s the lowest state jobless rate since January 2009, a point when jobless rolls were surging.
Mississippi’s unemployment rate was 8.3 percent in November. The state jobless rate was 8.9 percent in December 2012.
The labor department reports 102,000 Mississippians were unemployed in November, down from 107,000 in November and 119,000 in December 2012.
That decline was more than cancelled out by an 8,000-person decline in the labor force.
Mississippi nonfarm payrolls barely rose from November, but are about 29,000 above year-ago levels.