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Mississippi employment reaches record high with nearly 1.2M with jobs

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(The Center Square) – Federal data released on Tuesday shows a record nearly 1.2 million residents were participating in the workforce in May.

The Magnolia State also had its least number of residents, 34,605, collecting unemployment as the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 2.8%, three tenths lower than May 2023, when the rate was 3.1%.

“Our economy is firing on all cylinders, which is why we continue to make history,” Gov. Tate Reeves said in a release. “There are more jobs in Mississippi than ever before, which is truly a victory worth celebrating. We’ll continue fighting for good-paying, high-quality jobs that attract more residents to our great state.”

The state’s labor force participation rate continues to lag behind the national average.

In May, the state’s labor force participation rate was 53.8%, one-tenth better than last month, but nearly 10% less than the national rate of 62.7%. That means nearly 1.36 million of the state’s residents aren’t part of the labor force.

The labor force participation rate trails regionally, led by Texas (64.3% in May), Georgia (61.6%), Tennessee (59.6%) and Florida (59.1%).

Louisiana’s participation rate was at 58.1% in May, followed by Alabama and Arkansas, each at 57.5%.

According to the monthly release from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, the county with the lowest unemployment rate was Union at 1.9%, followed by Lafayette County at 2%. The report also said 35 of the state’s 82 counties were at or below the state average of 2.8%.

The highest unemployment rates for counties was Jefferson at 11.3%, followed by Claiborne at 7.2% and Humphreys at 7.1%.

Among the state’s three metropolitan areas, Jackson and Hattiesburg had unemployment rates of 2.5%, while the Gulf Coast was three-tenths behind at 2.8%.

Initial unemployment claims were up from April, growing from 4,246 to 6,338.

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