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Unemployment rates continue to fall across the board



Slim Smith



The April unemployment data, released Wednesday by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, showed steady improvement on the local, state and national levels. 


More Mississippians are at work than at any time in the past 16 years, while nationally the seasonally-adjusted unemployment is at its lowest rate in a decade. In the Golden Triangle, unemployment rates ranged from a low of 3.9 percent in Oktibbeha County to 5.8 percent in Noxubee County, following both state and national trends. 


Jobless rates for both Lowndes County and Oktibbeha County for April came in at or below the state average of 4.3 percent, while unemployment rates in both Clay and Noxubee counties are more than a percentage point lower than in April 2016. 


The nation's seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate of 4.4 percent is the lowest it has been since May 2007 and is approaching what economists consider full employment. 


While Mississippi's seasonally-adjusted rate of 5.0 percent remains seventh highest in the nation, it is lower than the rates in neighboring Louisiana (5.4 percent) and Alabama (5.8 percent) 


Across the state, 4,600 people found jobs over the past year, pushing the total of non-farm workers to 1,241,500, the most since 2001.


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



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