Mississippi's unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent in March, as more people entered the labor force than could find jobs.
A separate survey shows state employer payrolls fell for the fourth straight month.
Both sets of figures, adjusted to cancel out seasonal changes, were released Friday by the U.S. Labor Department.
Mississippi's unemployment rate was 7.4 percent in February, while it was 9 percent in March 2013.
It's the first monthly increase in the jobless rate since June 2012. Mississippi has the sixth-highest unemployment rate among the states.
The report found 96,000 Mississippians were unemployed in March, up more than 2,000 from February but down from 116,000 in March 2013. The number of people with jobs held steady, but more people were looking for work, pushing up unemployment.
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