Unemployment in Northeast Mississippi dropped for a fourth consecutive month in October, with the jobless rate falling to 3.4%
A month earlier, the unemployment rate had fallen to 3.9%, the lowest rate recorded this year and the lowest rate in more than two years.
October's decline suggests the employment landscape is improving as businesses continue to expand and hire more workers.
Earlier this month, German automotive supplier Dr. Schneider announced it was bringing 400 jobs over the next several years to the Harry A. Martin North Lee Industrial Park in Baldwyn. Behold Home furniture in Pontotoc is adding extra capacity and workers to a facility it obtained in Amory. Bauhaus Furniture is hiring for its Saltillo and Ripley plants.
Other businesses continue to have staffing issues however, with jobs readily available, and the U.S. Department of Labor said Americans continue to quit their jobs at or near a record pace.
In Northeast Mississippi ,the civilian labor force – the number of people employed or actively looking for a job – actually increased in October to 226,430, a pickup of about 7,000, according to figures from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.
For October, five of the state's top 10 lowest unemployment rates were in Northeast Mississippi. Lafayette County's 2.8% was the lowest in the region and second-lowest statewide. Union County (2.9%) was the second-lowest in the region and tied for third-lowest in the state. Rounding out the top 10 statewide from the region were Pontotoc (3.1%) at seventh Itawamba and Lee( 3.2%) tied for eighth place.
Statewide, the October unemployment rate was 3.9%, down from 4.7% in September and a steep drop from last October's 6.2%. The U.S. jobless rate last month was 4.3%, down from 4.6% in September and from 8.1% a year earlier.