Mississippi unemployment rate drops for the first time in three years

For the first time since the end of 2009, the unemployment rate in Mississippi dropped below 10 percent.

This downward shift in unemployment has been felt across the country. The national rate was down to 8.3 percent in February, down from 9 percent a year before. During this period the net job creation in Mississippi was only 700 additional jobs.

Despite the relatively flat increase, Mary Willoughby, bureau director of labor market information for the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, said even a small increase is a very positive indicator right now.

“It looks like it’s pretty steady,” Willoughby said. “It doesn’t look like it’s getting worse, which is an improvement. And when you look at the national economy in previous recessions, normally Mississippi goes into a recession later than the national economy, and we come out later.”

This could bode well for Mississippi as the capital markets and national employment situation continue to improve. Willoughby said this stability will create the confidence necessary to get employers hiring again.

The Daily Mississippian
3/28/12