The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics released its annual employment report. It was no surprise that the Covid epidemic caused a big national spike in unemployment in 2020 compared to 2019.
All four regions posted unemployment rate increases from 2019, from a maximum of 5.5 percentage points in the Northeast to a minimum of 3.7 points in the South. The Northeast, 9.2 percent, and West, 9.0 percent, registered jobless rates higher than the U.S. rate in 2020, while the Midwest and South, 7.6 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively, both had rates below the national figure.
Mississippi fared better than most states with a 2.6 percent increase in unemployment for the entire year of 2020 compared to 2019. Only Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Utah, South Dakota, Kentucky, Iowa and Alaska did better than Mississippi in economically surviving Covid.
Even so, Mississippi lost 51,000 jobs throughout 2020 compared to 2019, according to the report. Mississippi has 50.6 percent of its population employed compared to 56.8 for the national average. That's the second worst in the nation, after West Virginia at 50.3. Nebraska has the highest percentage of the population employed at 66.7 percent.
For all of 2020, Mississippi's unemployment rate was 8.1 percent, matching the national average.
Click here to read the full report.