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State's unemployment rate up nearly a half-point

Mississippi’s seasonally adjusted unemploy- ment rate for February was 11.4 percent. The state’s seasonally adjusted series reported an over the month increase of four-tenths of a percentage point from 11 in January, the largest month-to-month jump in the nation.

When compared to one year ago, the rate was 2.3 percentage points higher than the 9.1 percent reported for Feb. 2009.

The nation’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged over the month at 9.7 percent, but was 1.5 percentage points higher than the year ago rate of 8.2 percent.

Mississippi’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February was 12 percent, decreasing one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month’s rate of 12.1 percent. When compared to the Feb. 2009 rate of 9.3 percent, the rate increased 2.7 percentage points.

The number of unemployed decreased 900 over the month, while the employed total increased 4,000 from the prior month.

The nation’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February at 10.4 percent was down two-tenths of a percentage point over the month, but was 1.5 percentage points higher than the year ago rate of 8.9 percent.

Results from Mississippi’s non-farm employment survey, which is counted by the location of establishments, reported a not seasonally adjusted increase of 4,000 in employment over the month, but a decrease of 26,200 from one year ago. Industry sectors registering the largest monthly employment gains were educational and health services, government, leisure and hospitality and professional and business services.

For the month, only 22 counties in Mississippi posted unemployment rates less than or equal to the state’s rate of 12 percent. Unemployment rates decreased or remained unchanged over the month in 60 counties.

Rankin County posted the lowest unemployment rate for the month at 7.9 percent followed by Madison County at 8.5 percent.

Thirty counties reported rates greater than or equal to 15 percent with five counties reporting rates greater than 20 percent. Noxubee County had the highest unemployment rate for February at 23.3 percent.

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