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A big jump in the number of people working drives down the state’s unemployment rate heading into the Christmas season.

The state says 12,000 more people were working in October than September and 19,000 more were working than in October 2011.  That helped lower the state’s unadjusted jobless rate to 8.3 percent in October. That was down from 9.1 percent in September and 10.5 percent in October last year.

The number of people in the state’s work force increased from 1,337,900 in September to 1,339,500 in October. But it remained below the 1,352,000 looking for work in October 2011.

Several counties across the region also continue to see steady job growth over last October with Itawamba, Lee, Lowndes, Pontotoc, Tippah, Union and Yalobusha counties among the biggest gainers.

Job gainers and losers in October compared to October 2011 included:

Alcorn, up 100; Attala, up 170; Calhoun, down 10; Chickasaw, up 80; Choctaw, down 160; Clay, up 40; Itawamba, up 320; Lafayette, up 800; Lee, up 1,180; Lowndes, up 650; Monroe, up 300; Montgomery, up 10; Noxubee, down 40, Oktibbeha, down 430; Pontotoc, up 410; Prentiss, up 130; Tippah, 370; Tishomingo, up 110; Union, up 1,070; Webster, no change; Winston, up 80; Yalobusha, up 280.

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