Mississippi’s unemployment rate is the lowest since 2001 — 5 percent in March.

The Mississippi Department of Employment Security announced the new seasonally adjusted figures on Friday. The good news follows a similarly positive report last month.

The 5 percent rate, two-tenths of a percentage point lower than in February, marks the lowest level of unemployment in the state since January 2001.

“This is a testament to our skilled workforce and our commitment to creating an environment that encourages private investment,” Gov. Phil Bryant said in a Facebook post. “We will continue to work with our business partners all around the world to ensure that every Mississippian has not only a job, but a career.”

The labor force — all citizens who have a job or are looking for one — increased in March by 4,800 to 1,302,700. That amount is the largest since October 2012.

The report from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security also showed:

The number of people working rose in March by 7,100 to 1,237,000.

The number of unemployed Mississippians fell in March by 2,300 to 65,700.

A separate survey of employers showed that the number of non-farm jobs declined slightly in March by 100 to 1,146,100.

Kate Royals

Kate Royals is a Jackson native and returned to Mississippi Today as the lead education reporter after serving in the same capacity from 2016 to 2018. Prior to that, she was a reporter for the Clarion-Ledger covering education and state government. She won awards for her investigative work, including stories about the state’s campaign finance laws and prison system. She was a news producer at MassLive in Springfield, Mass., after graduating from Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communications with a master’s degree in communications.