July jobless rate rose to 5.2 percent

Published 7:20 pm Sunday, August 20, 2017

Mixed economic numbers for Mississippi were released Friday, and while payroll numbers for the Magnolia State continue to climb, the unemployment rate rose for the second straight month.

July’s jobless numbers rose to 5.2 percent, two-tenths higher than a month ago, but well below the 5.9 percent from July 2016. Unemployed Mississippians rose by 2,000 to 67,000 and is attributed to residents with jobs outstripping a shrinking labor force.

Mississippi’s payroll numbers rose in July by 1,800 to 1,153,100, which are the most jobs in the state since 2008, according to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. That measure — many economists’ top labor market indicator — was above July 2016.

The labor force, which is made up of everyone who has a job or is looking for a job, decreased in July by 7,800 to 1,288,700.  However, over the year since July 2016, the labor force grew by 9,100.

The number of people working in Mississippi decreased in July by 9,800 to 1,221,400.  For the year since July 2016, employment in Mississippi posted an increase of 16,900.

The number of unemployed Mississippians increased in July by 2,000 to 67,300. Over the year since June 2016, the number of Mississippians without jobs fell by 7,800.

While the jobless numbers are not available for each of Mississippi’s 82 counties, the unemployment rate in Warren County has risen the last two months. County unemployment rose a full percentage point to 5.8 percent in May and another 1.2 percent in June to 6.6 percent.

Mississippi’s jobless rate tied for fifth-highest among states, with Alaska worst at 7 percent. The U.S. rate fell to 4.3 percent in July from June’s 4.5 percent.