Payrolls Fall, Signaling Shrinking Economy

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Payrolls fell in Mississippi for the fourth straight month in August, reinforcing economists' judgment that the state is back in recession.

Employers said they had 1.08 million workers last month in Mississippi. That falls below the October 2009 low hit in the national recession, and is the lowest number of payroll jobs in the state since early 1996.

A second survey each month calculates the state's unemployment rate. That survey, which asks whether people have a job, showed that the jobless rate dipped to 9.1 percent in August from 9.2 in July

Jobless levels have fallen from a post-recession peak of 10.9 percent in August 2011, but progress has stalled in recent months.

The number of unemployed Mississippians was steady at 122,000 from July to August, below August 2011's 147,000.