JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi's job market softened in March, as unemployment rose for the second straight month and employer payrolls remained flat.
The state's jobless rate ticked up to 4.9% in March from 4.8% in February. The labor force and number of people reporting jobs both fell, trends that have strengthened in recent months. The number of unemployed people rose slightly to about 62,000. Mississippi's March 2018 jobless rate was 4.9 percent.
The number of Mississippians on payrolls — economists' top labor market indicator — was basically level from February to March at 1.16 million. Payrolls remained more than 7,000 above March 2018's level of 1.15 million.
March's U.S. unemployment rate didn't change from February's 3.8 percent level.
The state Department of Employment Security released figures Tuesday, adjusted to cancel out seasonal changes.