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State’s unemployment is lowest in 12 years, but not on the Coast

In this July 19, 2016, file photo, people fill out job applications at a job fair in Miami Lakes, Fla. Unemployment rose across the three Coast counties in December.
In this July 19, 2016, file photo, people fill out job applications at a job fair in Miami Lakes, Fla. Unemployment rose across the three Coast counties in December. AP File

The Department of Employment Security announced Tuesday unemployment fell in December to its lowest rate in 12 years in Mississippi, but Wednesday’s report shows that good news didn’t extend to South Mississippi.

Unemployment in all three Coast counties rose in December, climbing by three-tenths of a point in Harrison County, four-tenths of a point in Hancock County and a half-point in Jackson County.

Local rates aren’t seasonally adjusted to remove holiday and seasonal fluctuations, and could reflect the end of holiday jobs. Only Harrison County’s rate was lower than the state’s unadjusted rate of 5.6 percent in December. The national unadjusted rate for December was 4.5 percent.

The MDES report for the three Coast counties shows:

▪  2,210 fewer people were unemployed in December than a year ago

▪  140 more Coast residents were employed in December 2016 than in December 2015

▪  The labor force shrank by 2,070 people compared with December 2015

▪  Unemployment rates in December 2016 were more than a point below the December 2015 rates across the Coast

DeSoto and Rankin counties had the lowest unemployment rate in the state in December at 4.0 percent, and Issaquena County the highest at 17.2 percent, according to MDES.

Unemployment

County

Dec. 2016

Nov. 2016

Dec. 2015

Hancock

6.0

5.6

7.3

Harrison

5.4

5.1

6.7

Jackson

6.5

6.0

7.7

Source: Mississippi Department of Employment Security

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