Mississippi jobless rate and payrolls again hit new records

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JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi’s jobless rate again set a new low in February, while employer payrolls set a new high.

The jobless rate fell to 4.5 percent, a new low since current surveys began in 1976, from 4.6 percent in January. That’s down from February 2017′s 5.4 percent. More people entered the labor force, and more people found jobs. The number of unemployed Mississippians fell below 58,000.

The separate payroll survey, economists’ top labor market indicator, reached 1.16 million in February. That slightly surpassed the high set in December, and is a 14,000-job gain over February 2017. After nearly two years of stagnation, payrolls began surging in late 2017.

February’s U.S. unemployment rate was level from January at 4.1 percent.

The U.S. Labor Department released figures Friday, adjusted to cancel out seasonal changes.

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