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11.5.21 – Laurel Leader Call –  (The Center Square) –

The Center Square) – Initial unemployment claims in Mississippi dropped to 1,009 during the week ending Oct. 30. That’s down from 1,223 new claims from the week before, according to statistics released from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The number of total claims paid also decreased by 1,027 week over week.

The figures mirror a September report issued by the Mississippi Department of Employment that shows steep declines in unemployment claims and payouts compared to 2020.

The state paid recipients just under $6 million in unemployment benefits during September, compared to August when $9.5 million in benefits were paid.

More than $47 million was paid to recipients in September 2020. Some of that money came from federal funds allocated through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program. Gov. Tate Reeves opted out of the additional federal benefits in June, a few months before they expired in September.

The state’s September unemployment rate was 5.8%, according to MDES figures. The state has the 13th highest rate when compared to the 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Mississippi counties are also seeing lower unemployment rates with 32 of the state’s 82 counties seeing rates of 4.7% or less, according to MDES.

The Magnolia State is also seeing an increase in the number of jobs, according to MDES.

“In September 2021, there were 3,900 more jobs in Mississippi than August 2021, and 26,300 more than September 2020, according to the seasonally adjusted results from a survey of Mississippi employers,” MDES’ September report says. “Industry sectors with the monthly employment increases were professional and business services; trade, transportation and utilities; and manufacturing.”

This article originally ran on thecentersquare.com.