Unemployment rates drop to ‘historic low’ in Mississippi

Published 3:00 pm Sunday, May 29, 2022

For the month of April 2022, Mississippi’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of a percentage point, which is a new historic low, the Mississippi Department of Employment Security reported in its monthly publication. The 4.1 percent unemployment rate compared with a year ago at 6.2 percent is 2.1 percent lower.

However, the nation’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.6 percent, though it was 2.4 percentage points lower than last year’s 6.0.

There are two types of data counted; one is “not seasonally adjusted unemployment,” which is non regularly patterned, and “seasonally adjusted data,” which removes the effects of events that follow a more or less regular pattern each year, such as the influences of weather, holidays, opening and closing of schools and other recurring seasonal events. Adjusting each makes it easier to observe the cyclical and other non-seasonal movements in a data series, according to a MDES report.

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There were 600 fewer nonfarm jobs in Mississippi than in March 2022; since April 2021, the number of nonfarm jobs has increased by 29,900.

For the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April 2022, Mississippi was at 3.6 percent, an increase of one-tenth of a percentage point from last month’s 3.5 percent. Compared to April 2021’s 5.9 percent rate, the month this year decreased 2.3 percentage points.

The number of unemployed decreased 1,300 during the month, while the employed total increased 700 from the prior month. The nation’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April 2022 at 3.3 percent was down five-tenths of a percentage point, from 3.8 percent in March 2022 and 2.4 percentage points from 5.7 percent in April 2021.

Mississippi’s not seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased 1,300 during the month and 27,500 during the year. The largest employment gain during the month occurred in the leisure and hospitality sector.

In April 2022, 34 Mississippi counties posted unemployment rates less than or equal to the state’s rate of 3.6 percent. Rankin and Union counties posted the lowest unemployment rate at 2.5 percent, followed by Lafayette and Lamar counties at 2.7 percent. Jefferson County had the highest unemployment rate for April at 11.9 percent, followed by Humphreys County at 8.1 percent.

The Mississippian “civilian labor force” — everyone 16 and up who has a job or is looking for a job — numbered 1,266,300 in the April 2022 not seasonally adjusted labor force data estimates, with 1,220,800 employed and 45,500 unemployed, for an unemployment rate of 3.6.

In the United States, the civilian labor force numbered 163,449,000, with 157,991,000 employed and 5,458,000 unemployed, for an unemployment rate of 3.3.

Rankin County posted the lowest unemployment rate at 2.5 percent followed by Union County at 2.5 and Lafayette County at 2.7 percent. Jefferson County had the highest unemployment rate at 11.9 percent, followed by Humphreys County at 8.1 percent.

In Lincoln County, the unemployment rate for April was 3.2. Out of 14,880 available workers 16 and up, 14,410 were employed, while 470 were unemployed. In March, 14,440 were employed, while 460 were unemployed, spelling out a 3.1 percent unemployment rate.

A preliminary count of the unemployment rate changes from March to April of counties bordering Lincoln County is as follows:

• Copiah, 4.1 to 4.2

• Lawrence, 4.3 to 4.4

• Franklin, 4.4 to 4.7

• Walthall, 4.2 to 4.4

• Pike, 4.6 to 4.5

• Amite, 4.6 to 4.8

Initial Lincoln County filings of unemployment claims in April numbered 37, as opposed to 31 in March and 111 in April 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, employment, unemployment and the unemployment rate are generated by the Local Area Unemployment Statistics Program, a cooperative program between the Bureau of Labor Statistics and State Employment Security agencies.