Article Comment 

State unemployment rate hits 13-year low


Slim Smith



Mississippi's seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate has hit a 13-year low over the past two months, based on data released this week by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. 


The state's 5.5 percent seasonally-adjusted jobless for January rate mirrors that of the updated rate for December 2016, which was initially reported as 5.7 percent. 


The last time the state's unemployment rate was this low was in December 2003. 


In January 2016 the seasonally-adjusted rate was 6.1 percent. 


The nation's seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for January was 4.8 percent, up one-tenth of a point from December 2016 but down one-tenth of a point compared to January 2016. 


Seasonally-adjusted rates, which take into account recurring dips or surges in employment based on such things as school years, holidays and weather disasters, are calculated only at the national and state level. 




Non-adjusted rates 


Mississippi's non-adjusted January rate (6.1 percent) was up 0.4 percent from December. Nationally, the non-adjusted rate for January (5.1 percent) was up by 0.6 percent compared to the previous month. 


That trend holds true in the Golden Triangle as well. 


Lowndes County's unemployment rate increased from 5.9 percent in December to 6.5 percent in January. Oktibbeha County's jobless rate went up from 5.6 percent in December to 5.9 percent in January and the unemployment rate went from 7.7 percent to 8.1 percent in Clay County. 


Statewide, 500 new jobs were created in January, MDES data shows. The workforce is now estimated at 1.291,200 with 1,219,700 Mississippians employed as of January.


Slim Smith is a columnist and feature writer for The Dispatch. His email address is [email protected]



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