Two metro areas in Mississippi made the 24/7 Wall St. list for the “American Cities That Added Jobs During the Pandemic” – Hattiesburg and Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on the United States. Health authorities reported over 26.7 million cases as of Feb. 4, more than 450,000 of which have proven fatal,” 24/7 Wall St.’s Grant Suneson writes. “The American economy has suffered as well. In February 2020, the month before the pandemic resulted in a nationwide state of emergency, 158.7 million Americans held jobs. In November, that number fell to 149.8 million — a 5.6% decline.”

Yet, as Suneson notes, not every job market in the country suffered.

“Of the nearly 400 major metropolitan areas in the U.S., employment increased throughout the pandemic in 28,” he says.

Of the 28 areas reported, Hattiesburg was 2nd in the most job growth in the nation, while the Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula metro area was 18th.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on the percent change in total employment from February 2020 to November 2020 in all U.S. metro areas. The 28 metro areas with job growth are concentrated in just 11 states.

“One thing all of these places have in common is that their labor force grew significantly from February to November 2020,” 24/7 Wall St. reports. “During those nine months, each metro area saw their labor force increase by hundreds if not thousands of workers.”

Here in Mississippi, those two areas were located in the Southern half of the state.

See the 24/7 Wall St. data below:

2. Hattiesburg, Mississippi
> Increase in employment: 2.9%
> Total employment Feb. 2020: 65,216
> Total employment Nov. 2020: 67,107
> Feb. 2020 unemployment rate: 4.7%
> Nov. 2020 unemployment rate: 5.7%
> Fastest growing industry: Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+8.0%)
> Labor force increase Feb.-Nov. 2020: +2,721 (+4.0%)

18. Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, Mississippi
> Increase in employment: 0.7%
> Total employment Feb. 2020: 155,847
> Total employment Nov. 2020: 156,881
> Feb. 2020 unemployment rate: 5.4%
> Nov. 2020 unemployment rate: 6.8%
> Fastest growing industry: Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+3.6%)
> Labor force increase Feb.-Nov. 2020: +3,584 (+2.2%)

Click here to read the full report from 24/7 Wall St.