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State unemployment hits lowest mark in more than 15 years

More Mississippians are headed to work as the state’s unemployment rate is the lowest its been since May 2001.

According to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, the states seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.2 percent in February, which is nine-tenths of a percentage point lower than it was at the same time last year and three-tenths of a percentage point lower than January 2017.

“In 2016 are total employment grew 1 percent, in 2015 it grew 1.2 percent, that doesn’t sound like a lot but it’s the highest we’ve had since the Great Recession,” said Corey Miller, economic analyst for the University Research Center.

In total, the number of Mississippians unemployed fell by 3,400 to 68,100 in February. While the state Labor Force, which includes everyone that has a job or is looking for a job, increased in February by 6,900 to 1,298,200. That’s the largest the states Labor Force has been since October 2012.

“Are economy is growing, it’s being growing for the past several years, it’s just growing very slowly, it’s growing slower than the U.S. economy and it’s growing more slowly than the southeast region,” said Miller

When compared to the rest of the country, Mississippi is tied with West Virginia for ninth-highest jobless rate. New Mexico has the worst at 6.8 percent.

Nationwide, unemployment fell to 4.7 percent, one-tenth of a percentage point below January’s 4.8 percent.

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