SuperTalk Mississippi

Unemployment rates down in state for 2017

photo courtesy of Gov. Phil Bryant

Governor Phil Bryant has announced that the seasonal unemployment rate in the state was at 4.9 percent in May 2017. 

This is the lowest figure for the unemployment rate since the Department of Labor Force began publishing state unemployment rates in January 1976. Since 1976 the Mississippi rate has been 5.0 percent, but never lower.

“Our unemployment rate here in Mississippi in May, this past month, was 4.9 percent. That’s the lowest it’s ever been since our government started calculating unemployment rate,” said Mark Henry with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

Typically, four and a half percent is what economists consider full employment. Henry said that is a very hard figure to ever see.

The labor force is made up of everyone who has a job or is looking for a job, that includes college students fresh out of graduation.

“You wouldn’t count someone who is 90 years old and has been retired for 25 years. You wouldn’t count someone who is at Parchman,” said Henry.

Henry said in the last six months or so, nationally, recovery from the recession has really picked up. Until January it has been slower than economists have seen in history.

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.

Since April 2016 the number of unemployed Mississippians fell, making the number of Mississippians without jobs a total of 11,500. In April 2017 fewer Mississippians were unemployed since January 1999.


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