- Associated Press - Friday, October 21, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi’s labor market was flat in September, with unemployment and payrolls steady.

The state’s unemployment rate remained at 6 percent for third straight month, but was below September 2015’s 6.4 percent. The number of workers and people reporting jobs each rose slightly. The number of unemployed people remained at 76,000.

Mississippi had September’s fourth-highest jobless rate among states, with Alaska worst at 6.9 percent. The nationwide jobless rate rose to 5 percent in September from 4.9 percent in August.

The separate payroll survey, used by many economists as their top labor market indicator, was unchanged from August at 1.14 million. That’s about 8,000 over September 2015 levels, but 1.5 percent below Mississippi’s pre-recession peak.

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

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