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Oct. 24, 2011

SEPTEMBER UNEMPLOYMENT RATE RISES, MORE MISSISSIPPIANS LOOKING FOR WORK, GOV. BARBOUR SAYS
September employment near pre-recession levels

A slight rise in the state’s unemployment rate for September shows more Mississippians are restarting their job search, Gov. Haley Barbour said today. Although Mississippi’s unemployment rate rose to 10.6 percent in September from 10.4 percent, the state saw the number of people working increase by 2,700 over the month.

"For September, we saw both more people working as employment grew by 2,700 and more people looking for jobs, which led to a larger labor force pool and an increased unemployment rate," Gov. Barbour said. "Mississippians see that companies are starting to hire again and are restarting their job searches. While the economic recovery isn't happening as fast as I would like it, this is a positive sign."

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which tracks monthly employment data, employment increased in Mississippi every month in 2010.  This year, more people have been working in six of the nine months for which data is currently available.  Previously, the state had been losing jobs nearly every month as a result of the national and international economic downturns.

When the Great Recession first began in December 2007, Mississippi had 1,216,952 individuals working according to BLS data.  When the recession ended in June 2009, Mississippi’s employment levels had decreased to 1,171,380; in November 2009, the state reached its lowest employment dip at 1,161,292.  However, by September of this year, Mississippi’s employment had nearly climbed back to pre-recession levels, at 1,207,904.