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Mississippi unemployment rate down slightly at 12.3%



(Image from Mississippi Department of Employment Security)

Mississippi’s unemployment rate was 12.37% for the week ending July 4, down nearly 1% from the previous week. That rate translates into more than 137,000 unemployed Mississippians.

New unemployment claims rose slightly for the week ending July 11, to 11,795. Those numbers remain about 10 times the average weekly new claims before the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in Mississippi. Since the week of March 14 (the first case was confirmed March 11) 373,405 Mississippians have filed new claims for state unemployment benefits.

Continued claims also rose slightly for the week ending July 4, to more than 142,000.

Mississippi did not report any new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims for the week ending July 11; however, the state reported nearly 57,000 continued claims for the week ending June 27. PUA is a federal program extended to people who do not qualify for state unemployment programs including contract and gig workers. More than likely, this was a reporting oversight, not that no new claims were filed that week for the program.

Another federal program, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, added more than 4,000 people for the week ending June 27, the most recent data available. That program, which adds $600 to filers’ weekly state unemployment benefits, is scheduled to expire at the end of July.

Between state unemployment and the two federal programs, the state has seen almost 422,000 people filing for unemployment benefits since the COVID-19 recession began.

Nationally, another 1.3 million Americans filed new unemployment claims in the week ending July 11. The unemployment rate was 11.9% for the week ending July 4. That rate was down slightly from the prior week, but still higher than at any time since World War II.

More than 18 million Americans are out of work.

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