Mississippi unemployment rate ticks up despite job gains

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi’s unemployment rate crept up in May despite some positive signs in the labor market.

The jobless rate rose to 6.7 percent from 6.6 percent in April, reversing five straight months of falling unemployment levels. Though the number of people who told surveyors they had a job increased, unemployment levels rose because even more people entered the labor force.

Mississippi reported the fifth-highest jobless rate among the states.

A separate survey shows Mississippi payrolls rose by 3,600 in May. Total payrolls were about 12,000 higher than in May 2014.

Both sets of figures — adjusted to cancel out seasonal changes — were released Friday by the U.S. Labor Department.

The report found 84,000 Mississippians were unemployed in May, up slightly from April and about 11,000 below May 2014.

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