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Mississippi jobless rate down to 6.3 percent for February, payrolls rise

Mississippi’s jobless rate kept falling in March, with more people finding jobs even as the labor force shrank slightly.

The unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent from 6.5 percent in February, the third straight decline. That’s also below the 6.5 percent rate in March 2015.

Mississippi had the fourth-highest jobless rate among states in March, with Alaska recording the nation’s worst, at 6.6 percent. The nationwide jobless rate was 5 percent.

A separate survey shows Mississippi employers added 2,000 workers to payrolls in March. Payrolls are now 20,000 above March 2015, a relatively strong 1.8 percent yearly growth.

Both sets of figures, adjusted to cancel out seasonal changes, were released Friday by the U.S. Labor Department.

March saw 82,000 Mississippians unemployed, down 4,000 from February, and level with March 2015.

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