- Associated Press - Friday, December 16, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi’s November unemployment rate was its lowest since February 2004, even as payrolls remained stagnant.

The state’s jobless rate fell to 5.7 percent from 5.9 percent in October, and was below the 6.6 percent rate a year earler. People reporting jobs rose, while unemployed people fell to 73,000, also lowest since 2004.

State payrolls fell less than 1,000 to 1.14 million. That separate survey - many economists’ top labor market indicator - remained slightly below last year’s level, reflecting economic weakness.

Mississippi still has a relatively high jobless rate, tied for sixth-highest among the states, with Alaska worst at 6.8 percent. The nationwide jobless rate fell to 4.6 percent from October’s 4.9 percent.

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

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