JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Employment Security announced today that more people held jobs in February 2013 than in January 2013.  According to preliminary numbers, employers reported 5,500 more jobs in February 2013, which is an increase of 17,000 from February 2012.

At the same time, the preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the state was 9.6 percent, up from 9.3 percent the month before.  The U.S. seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February 2013 declined two-tenths of a point to 7.7 percent.

"Although it may seem strange that the number of  jobs and the unemployment rate can both move upward, the fact is that those two figures are calculated using two separate surveys by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics," comments Mark Henry, MDES Executive Director.  "Unemployment is calculated by a random survey of households and the number of jobs is based on a survey of employers."

Additionally, BLS does not count someone who is out of work but not looking for a job as unemployed. 

The latest Mississippi figures indicate more people are beginning to search for jobs; therefore, they are now counted as unemployed.

MDES offers free job search assistance to people searching for jobs or looking for better jobs.  Individuals can obtain assistance at their local WIN Job Center or by visiting the agency website at mdes.ms.gov.