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Miss. down 6,700 non-farm jobs in year

JACKSON — Mississippi’s jobs picture remained largely stagnant in September with the start of the school year giving the only real boost to non-farm employment, the state labor department reported Wednesday.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Mississippi had 6,700 fewer jobs than a year ago with the biggest losses coming in the goods-producing sector, the Department of Employment Security said.

A 2,500-job loss in mining and logging, construction and manufacturing from August to September was offset by a 5,500-job gain in the service sector. Of that gain, 3,900 came in education.

Goods-producing jobs are down 6,300 over the past 12 months, while the service sector has lost 400.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, Mississippi’s jobless rate stood at 9.8 percent in September. That’s down from 10 percent in August and 10 percent in September 2009.

According to the labor agency, government employment has fallen by 5,800 jobs, or 2.3 percent, since September 2009. The wide-ranging sector of professional-business services added 3,700, private education and health services gained 1,800, trade, transportation and utilities jumped 1,000 jobs and leisure-hospitality added 900.

The mining-logging sector, which includes petroleum, has added 700 jobs over the past year, despite fears that the discontinued deepwater drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico, would slash employment. But construction has lost 2,900 jobs and manufacturing has dropped by 4,100 jobs over 12 months.

Among Mississippi’s metropolitan areas:

– Gulfport-Biloxi gained 100 jobs from August to September, but stood down 1,300 from September 2009.

– Hattiesburg added 700 jobs from August to September. Since September 2009, the area has added 1,000 jobs.

– Jackson lost 1,400 jobs from August to September, but still remained 1,200 ahead of September 2009.

– Pascagoula lost 300 jobs from August to September, bringing its 12-month loss to 1,300.

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