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State's unemployment goes up a point

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Largely affected by seasonal influences, Mississippi’s May not-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased over the month, from 8.6 percent in April to 9.6 percent. The rate was significantly higher than one year ago when the May 2008 rate was 6.9 percent.

The unemployed total increased by 14,300 while the number of employed persons decreased 6,500.

The nation’s not-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased over the month from 8.6 to 9.1 percent for May and was elevated significantly when compared to the year ago rate of 5.2 percent.

Results from Mississippi’s non-farm employment survey, which is counted by the location of establishments, reported a not-seasonally adjusted decrease of 1,300 in employment over the month and a decrease of 40,200 from one year ago.

For the month of May 2009, only 24 counties in Mississippi posted unemployment rates less than or equal to the state’s rate of 9.6 percent. Rankin County posted the lowest unemployment rate for the month of May at 6 percent followed by Lamar County at 6.4 percent and Scott County at 7 percent.

Unemployment rates increased or remained the same in all but two counties. Fifty-four counties reported double-digit rates for the month with seven counties reporting rates greater than or equal to 15 percent. The highest unemployment rates were in Holmes County (18.3 percent), Jefferson County (17.9 percent) and Noxubee County (17.7 percent).

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