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Mississippi jobless rate stays low, payrolls rise slightly

Mississippi’s unemployment rate held steady at 5.5 percent in January, while payrolls rose slightly.

The jobless rate was also 5.5 percent in December, but fell from 6.1 percent in January 2016. More people entered the workforce and more found jobs. The number of unemployed Mississippians rose slightly, to about 72,000, as more people began looking for jobs than found them.

The unemployment rate is Mississippi’s lowest since December 2003.

Payrolls rose by 500 to 1.15 million. That separate survey – many economists’ top labor market indicator – was flat compared to January 2016 levels.

The nationwide jobless rate rose to 4.8 percent in January from December’s 4.7 percent.

The Mississippi Department of Employment Security released figures Wednesday, adjusted to cancel out seasonal changes.

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