Mississippi jobless rate 9.9 percent for January

March 14, 2012

Economic Development

Mississippi’s job picture continued to be a bleak one through January, according to the Mississippi Department of Employment Securities, which put the adjusted rate at 9.9 percent.

All but 21 of the state’s 81 counties reported double-digit unemployment, with Holmes County continuing to have the highest rate of jobless residents at 18 percent, followed by Tunica and Clay counties at 17.6.

Rankin, DeSoto and Madison counties had the lowest January unemployment rates, at 6.3 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively.

The seasonally adjusted rates reported Wednesday remove the effects of events that follow a more or less regular pattern each year such as the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events. Mississippi’s unadjusted unemployment rate for January was 10 percent.

The Department of Employment Securities says 132,8000 Mississippians were without jobs in January, down slightly from December’s 133,300.

The dismal jobless numbers contrast with improving numbers nationally. The nation’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate decreased two-tenths of a percentage point over the month from 8.5 to 8.3 percent, and was eight-tenths of a percentage point lower than the year ago rate of 9.1 percent.

Mississippi’s numbers also contrast sharply with those of neighboring Alabama, which reported its jobless rate for January fell to 7.8 percent from 8 percent in December. Last January, Alabama showed a 9.3 percent unemployment rate.

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