The most recent numbers have been released and once again, Mississippi's unemployment rate has ranked highest in the nation. The national average, according to the U.S. Labor Department, is 6.2%, while Mississippi's unemployment rate is 8%. This means that 101,200 people in the state do not have jobs.
"The unemployment rate is calculated based upon a national survey of about 60 thousand households," said Edward Sayre, Associate Professor of Economics and Director of Economics Program at the University of Southern Mississippi.
This number has continued to increase over the past four months, rising from 7.5% in April 2014 to 8% in July 2014.
According to a June 2014 report, Lamar County's unemployment rate was 6.2%, just below the national average. Jones County was slightly higher at 6.4%. Forrest County fell between the state and national averages at 8.4%. Each county, however, has shown a slow increase over the past few months as is consistent with other Pine Belt counties.
The national rate is lower than it was this year, dropping 1.1% from July 2013. "We're clearly several years past the recession," said Sayre. "But one of the problems with the size of this recession and the economic downturn is that it was very slow-growing afterwards. And so even though the economy was growing, jobs weren't being generated at the same rate. In the past year we've really seen this change. It's starting to pick up and it actually looks like a true recovery."
To view more details from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, click here