Unemployment numbers drop in March

Published 1:00 pm Tuesday, April 26, 2022

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March 2022 is the lowest rate for the state since the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics began calculating state unemployment rates for January 1976, a report states.

The labor force highlights for the month of March by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed a 4.2 percent decrease – three-tenths of a percentage point – over the month. Compared to a year ago, the rate decreased 2.2 percentage points, the report showed.

The March seasonally adjusted number of unemployed individuals was 52,900, the lowest since 1976. The nation’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate at 3.6 percent decreased two-tenths of a percentage point during the month. It was 2.4 percentage points lower than the year ago rate of 6.0 percent.

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The report said that the seasonally adjusted results from a survey of Mississippi employers showed the number of nonfarm jobs in March 2022 decreased 2,600 over the month, but increased 29,500 over the year. The largest monthly employment decreases were in the construction and the trade, transportation and utilities sectors.

Seasonally adjusted data removes the effects of events that follow a more or less regular pattern each year, including influences of weather, holidays, opening and closing of schools and other recurring season events, the MDES explained. These adjustments make it easier to observe the cyclical and other nonseasonal movements in a data series and amounts are adjusted at only the national and state levels.

Mississippi’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March 2022 was 3.5 percent, a nine-tenths of a percentage point decrease from the previous month.

As compared to the March 2021 rate of 6.4 percent, the rate decreased 2.9 percentage points. The unemployed decreased 11,900 over the month while the number of employed total increased 10,800 from the prior month.

The nation’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March 2022 at 3.8 percent decreased three-tenths of a percentage point over the month and was 2.4 percentage points below the year ago rate of 6.2 percent.

Mississippi’s not seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment decreased 3,100 over the month, but was 28,500 higher than a year ago. Trade, transportation and utilities had the largest monthly employment loss.

For March 2022, 33 counties in Mississippi posted unemployment rates less than or equal to the state’s rate of 3.5 percent. Rankin and Union counties posted the lowest rate for the month at 2.5 percent followed by Lafayette County at 2.6 percent.

Jefferson County had the highest unemployment rate at 11.2 percent, followed by Humphreys County at 8.3 percent.

Out of the Mississippian “civilian labor force” – everyone 16 and up who has a job or is looking for a job – 1,206,700 people were employed, 52,900 were not for March 2022. In the whole of the United States, 158,458,000 were the employed, with 5,952,000 unemployed.

Out of 14,930 available workers 16 and up in Lincoln County, 14,460 are employed, while 470 are unemployed, spelling out a 3.1 percent unemployment rate.

In Lawrence County, out 4,610 workers, 4,410 were employed and 200 were not, for a 4.3 percent unemployment rate.

For Franklin County, out of 2,650 workers, 2,530 were employed and 120 were not, for a 4.4 percent unemployment rate.

In Walthall County, out of 4,420 workers, 4,760 were employed and 210 were not, for an unemployment rate of 4.2.

In Amite County, of 4,390 workers, 4,220 were employed and 200 were not, for a rate of 4.6.

For Pike County, there were 14,460 workers, of which 13,800 were employed and 660 were not. That’s an unemployment rate of 4.6.

In Copiah County, out of 10,660 workers, 10,220 were employed and 440 were not, for a 4.1 unemployment rate.

A review of the last five years shows the following unemployment rates:


2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
3.8 4.5 6.2 3.9 4.1 4.6 United States
3.5 6.6 6.4 5.2 4.6 5.2 Mississippi
3.1 6.3 5.6 5.3 4.3 5.0 Lincoln County


Initial Lincoln County filings of unemployment claims in March 2022 numbered 31 as opposed to 27 in February and 144 in March 2021.

In Lawrence County, 15 claims were made in March, nine in February and 57 this time last year. In Franklin County, five unemployment claims were filled as compared to six in February and 32 in March 2021.

In the entire state of Mississippi, there were 4,005 initial unemployment claims in March 2022 (this does not include federal programs); 3,462 in February and 24,947 this time last year. In March, $2,909,427 was paid in benefits, compared to about $2,648,963 in February and nearly $13,513,756 in March 2021.

The labor force includes people age 16 and older who are able to work and are either employed or looking for work. This number does not include full-time students, members of the Armed Forces or those with farm jobs, according to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

Monthly estimates of the labor force, unemployment and other rates are generated by the Local Area Unemployment Statistics Program, a cooperate program between the data is published by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.