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Mississippi’s Employment Numbers Delayed, Officials Remain Optimistic

By Paul Boger | Published 23 Oct 2013 09:30am | comments
While the national unemployment rate inched down to 7.2 percent in September, Mississippi's unemployment numbers wont be ready for another two weeks. 
 
State officials feel confident that Mississippi will continue to have a steady decline in unemployment.  
 
Mary Willoughby is with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.
 
"The rate has pretty much been going down' if you look at the clause." said Willoughby. "Compared to over-the-year numbers, most of the time the current month is lower than the year-ago rate. Which is a good sign.
 
In September of 2012, Mississippi's unemployment rate was 9.1 percent. In August of 2013, that number decreased to 8.4 percent
 
While officials are optimistic about Mississippi's unemployment numbers, economists from around the state are remaining cautious.
 
Mark Van-Boening is with the University of Mississippi. He said it's hard to anticipate numbers like these, because economic growth on the state level tends to be slow. 
 
"These things on a statewide level, these things don't change real quickly, and to the extent that were going to have roughly the same economic mix then we're just going to go -- at least in the short and intermediate term -- as the overall economy grows." said Van-Boening.
 
Mississippi State University Professor Kevin Rogers believes Mississippi has done a lot to attract employers to the state.
 
"I think there are always ways to improve." said Rogers. "I think we're attempting to try and do that, but part of it's the national economy, and what's happening there, and I think we're trying but there is still a lot of work to be done."
 
Normally, Mississippi would have already received data on September's unemployment numbers, but due to the federal government shutdown earlier this month, those numbers have ben delayed. Officials at the Department of Employment Security believe it could be another two to three weeks before the state gets that information. 
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