Mississippi’s employment outlook appears to be gaining momentum with the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showing consistent employment growth for the last several months.

The chart shows monthly employment in Mississippi from January 2008 to June 2013. After tepid job growth in 2011 and 2012, the state has added 15,000 jobs since January and overall employment has risen for the last 6 months.

The job gains have allowed the state’s overall employment to advance toward the previous pre-recession peak. In June, overall employment was 32,500 jobs below the state’s pre-recession high compared to being down by 62,000 jobs one year ago. The University Research Center at the Institutions of Higher Learning predicts that it will be 2015 before the previous employment high is achieved.

The financial services sector has accounted for the largest year over year job growth followed by the hospitality sector and construction sector.