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Cities see continued rise in unemployment

AROUND MISSISSIPPI — Unemployment rates were higher in October than a year earlier in all 372 metropolitan areas, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Fifteen areas recorded jobless rates of at least 15 percent, while 13 areas registered rates below 5 percent.

Among the 369 metropolitan areas for which non-farm payroll employment was available, 361 areas reported over-the-year decreases in employment.

In October, 124 metropolitan areas reported jobless rates of at least 10 percent, up from 13 areas a year earlier, while 75 areas posted rates below 7 percent, down from 280 areas in Oct. 2008.

Mississippi’s metropolitan statistical areas — Gulfport/Biloxi, Hattiesburg, Jackson and Pascagoula — all saw unemployment rate increases of roughly a half-percent compared to the prior month. Gulfport/Biloxi’s jobless rate was 7.9 percent, up from 7.3 percent in September. Hattiesburg’s jobless rate was 8.1 percent, up from 7.6 percent in September. Jackson’s jobless rate was 7.7 percent, up from 7.1 percent in September. And, Pascagoula’s jobless rate was 8.9 percent, up from 8.4 percent in September.

All of these rates were well up compared to Oct. 2008. In Oct. 2008, Gulfport/Biloxi’s jobless rate was 5.8 percent, Hattiesburg’s was 5.7 percent, Jackson’s was 5.8 percent and Pascagoula’s was 6.3 percent.

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