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State’s unemployment rate is lowest in 12 years

In this June 23, 2014, file photo, a recruiter, at left, takes the resume of an applicant during a job fair.
In this June 23, 2014, file photo, a recruiter, at left, takes the resume of an applicant during a job fair. AP File

Mississippi Department of Employment Security announced Tuesday that the state’s unemployment fell in December to the lowest rate in 12 years.

Mississippi’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, which removes the fluctuation of holidays and other seasonal factors, was 5.6 percent in December. This is the lowest since January 2004, which also was 5.6 percent.

The state’s rate remains above the national seasonally adjusted rate for December of 4.7 percent.

MDES said the number of unemployed in Mississippi also dropped in December by 1,200 to 72,200.

“This is the lowest number of Mississippians without jobs since July 2001 when 70,300 were unemployed,” MDES said in a press release.

Local rates for South Mississippi and other parts of the state and not seasonally adjusted and haven’t yet been released for December.

The numbers for the state show:

▪ The Labor Force, which includes all who have a job or are looking for a job, increased in December by 4,200 to 1,288,200.

▪ The size of the Labor Force decreased by 900 since December 2015.

▪ The 72,000 unemployed Mississippians in December is 15,100 lower than a year ago in December 2015

MDES said preliminary projections from a separate sampling of employers show a less positive picture — that non-farm jobs in December decreased by 7,200 and over the year since December 2015 decreased by 11,100.

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