County unemployment rate at lowest level since 1998

From press reports

Mississippi’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.0 percent in March, which was two-tenths of a percentage point lower than a month earlier in February 2017.  The March rate is the lowest level of unemployment in Mississippi since January 2001.  The March 2017 rate is a percentage point lower than a year ago in March 2016, when the rate was 6.0 percent.

Seasonally adjusted data removes the effects of events that follow a more or less regular pattern each year such as the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events. These adjustments make it easier to observe the cyclical and other non-seasonal movements in a data series. Amounts are seasonally adjusted at the National and State levels only

Mississippi’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March 2017 was unchanged over the month at 4.6 percent. When compared to the March 2016 rate of 5.6 percent, the rate decreased one percentage point. The estimated number of unemployed increased 500 over the month, while the employed total decreased 300 from the prior month.

Choctaw County’s unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) for the month of March 2017 was 4.3 percent, which was a 0.2 percent decrease from the February 2017 rate of 4.5 percent. In the entire state of Mississippi, Choctaw County ranks #17 in lowest unemployment rates.

Choctaw County is currently posting its lowest unemployment rate since November 1998, in which the county posted a 4.2 percent unemployment rate.

The unadjusted rate of unemployed people in Choctaw County for March 2017 was 160, with 3,560 being employed. In February 2017, Choctaw County had 160 people unemployed, with 3,510 being employed.

The Labor Force, which is made up of everyone who has a job or is looking for a job, increased in March by 4,800 to 1,302,700.  Over the year since March 2016, the Labor Force grew by 19,700.  In March 2017 the Labor Force was the largest since October 2012.

The number of people working in Mississippi rose in March by 7,100 to 1,237,000.  For the year since March 2016, employment in our state posted a healthy increase of 30,000.  In March 2017 more people were working in Mississippi than at any time since March 2008.

The number of unemployed Mississippians fell in March by 2,300 to 65,700.  Over the year since March 2016, the number of Mississippians without jobs fell by 11,200.  In March 2017 fewer Mississippians were unemployed than at any time since July 1999.

A separate survey of employers indicated that the number of non-farm jobs declined slightly in March by 100 to 1,146,100.  Over the year since March 2016, the number of non-farm jobs increased by 100.

For the month of March 2017, thirty counties in Mississippi posted unemployment rates less than or equal to the state’s rate of 4.6 percent. Rankin and Union Counties posted the lowest unemployment rate for the month of March at 3.2 percent followed by DeSoto, Lamar, Lee, Pontotoc, and Scott Counties at 3.5 percent.

Issaquena County had the highest unemployment rate for March at 15.6 percent followed by Jefferson County at 13.8 percent.

For details or questions on this information, please contact Mary Willoughby at (601) 321-6260 or by email at:mwilloughby@mdes.ms.gov.