SuperTalk Mississippi

Unemployment numbers show economic increase

The latest numbers from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security shows the lowest rate of unemployment in the state’s history.

Mississippi’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.9% in May, the lowest level since the U.S. Department of Labor began publishing state unemployment rates in January 1976.

MDES Director Mark Henry said that the numbers show an increase in the economy.

“Well this is a trend that has been going on for the last several months,” said Henry. “We’re doing a better job of preparing people through training, employers have more confidence and are hiring more people.”

Henry said more people are seeking employment and are getting off of government benefits. There are federal perks as well.

“About two years ago, the federal government passed a law requiring states to prepare a detailed plan to coordinate workforce training agencies,” said Henry. “And leadership from the Governor has helped with that.”

The May 2017 rate is one-tenth of a percentage point lower than a month earlier in April and a percentage point lower than a year ago in May 2016, when the rate was 5.9%.

The number of people working in Mississippi fell in May by 2,600 to 1,239,000. For the year since May 2016, employment in our state posted an increase of 35,500.

The number of unemployed Mississippians fell in May by 700 to 64,100. Over the year since May 2016, the number of Mississippians without jobs fell by 11,800. In May 2017 fewer Mississippians were unemployed than at any time since May 1999.


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