The bad news: The unemployment rate also increased.
“Although it may seem strange that the number of jobs and the unemployment rate can both move upward, the fact is that those two figures are calculated using two separate surveys by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,” comments Mark Henry, Mississippi Department of Employment Security Executive Director. “Unemployment is calculated by a random survey of households and the number of jobs is based on a survey of employers.”
The MDES officials said today — according to preliminary numbers — employers reported 5,500 more jobs in February than in January. It also reported an increase of 17,000 jobs from February 2012.
At the same time, the preliminary seasonally adjusted state unemployment rate for February was 9.6 percent, up from 9.3 percent in January. The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February declined two-tenths of a point to 7.7 percent.
The BLS does not count someone who is out of work but not looking for a job as unemployed. The latest Mississippi figures indicate more people are beginning to search for jobs; therefore, they are now counted as unemployed.