Miss. sees lowest unemployment in more than a decade

A scene from the November groundbreaking of the new Continental Tire manufacturing facility in Hinds County. (Photo Office of Gov. Phil Bryant)

Mississippi continues to see sustained job growth, with recent data showing that unemployment has hit its lowest mark in 12 years for the Magnolia State.

The Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) recently announced that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell in December to 5.6 percent.

Oktibbeha County matched the state’s total, with 5.6 percent unemployment for December 2016, while Lowndes County slightly lagged its neighbor with 5.9 percent unemployment.

Choctaw County and Calhoun County topped the region for lowest unemployment at 5.1 percent.

The most recent numbers reflect the lowest unemployment total for Mississippi since January 2004, when the rate
was also 5.6 percent.

December 2016 brought a decrease in unemployment across the state from the November totals of 5.7 percent unemployment.
Year-over-year, the state saw unemployment drop by 1.2 percent from 6.8 percent unemployment.

Currently, 72,200 are unemployed in Mississippi, which is the lowest number of state residents without jobs since July

The labor force in total added 4,200 jobs in December, providing optimism for economic growth in the coming year.

Issaquena County has the largest gap to close, with MDES reporting 17.2 percent unemployment for December 2016.

In total, five Mississippi counties have unemployment rates higher than 10 percent: Issaquena (17.2 percent), Jefferson (12.8 percent), Humphreys (11.8 percent), Claiborne (11.4 percent)
and Holmes (10.8 percent).