April 16, 2010 2:46:00 PM
JACKSON -- Mississippi''s unemployment rate remained at 11.5 percent in March, both above the national and southern regional figure, the federal Labor Department reported Friday.
The rate, on a seasonally adjusted basis, was unchanged from February. It was the third straight month for unemployment to be at 11 percent or higher in the state -- and the seventh consecutive month the rate has been at least 10 percent.
The national unemployment rate for March was 9.7 percent. The Labor Department said that in the South, the jobless rate was 9.8 percent for the second consecutive month. In March 2009, the regional rate was 8.4 percent.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, Mississippi registered 150,300 unemployed workers in March, up from 149,500 in February and 115,300 in March 2009. Over the past year, the state has lost 19,800 jobs, the Labor Department said.
Nationally, 24 states recorded over-the-month unemployment rate increases, while 17 registered rate decreases. Mississippi was among nine states that had no change.