Mississippi posts strong job growth over previous year

Brett Kittredge

Mississippi added more than 14,000 jobs over the past year while the state’s unemployment rate sits at 4.8 percent, a near historic low.

Overall, the national unemployment rate sits at 3.9 percent for the month of August.

Statistically, Mississippi’s 1.6 percent over-the-year job growth compared favorably among the state’s neighbors.

Only Tennessee, whose payrolls grew by 1.9 percent saw greater improvement in terms of job numbers, percentage wise, than Mississippi. Alabama grew by 1.1 percent while Arkansas and Louisiana grew by .6 percent and .8 percent, respectively.

Outside of Mississippi’s immediate neighbors, we saw strong gains in most SEC states, with Kentucky being an outlier among this group.

Mississippi’s unemployment rate

At 4.8 percent, Mississippi’s unemployment rate remains near the state’s historic low of 4.6 percent. That occurred just this past December. But among Mississippi’s neighbors, every state but Louisiana had a lower unemployment rate.

Though low, and down from just a few years ago, Mississippi’s unemployment rate is still 47th nationally.

Among the other SEC states, we see unemployment rates ranging from 3.3 percent in Missouri to 4.4 percent in Kentucky.

Within Mississippi, the following counties had unemployment rates under 4.2 percent (for July 2018): Rankin (3.6%), Union (3.7%), Desoto (4%), Lamar (4.1%), Madison (4.1%), and Pontotoc (4.2%). The following had unemployment rates above 9.1 percent: Humphreys (9.4%), Wilkinson (10.1%), Holmes (10.3%), Claiborne (10.8%), and Jefferson (15.2%).