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July Unemployment Eases Up In County

WATER VALLEY – Yalobusha County’s unemployment rate for July rose six-tenth percent from June and 1.9 percent from July of last year, according to the latest figures released by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

The July figure of 10.3 percent unemployment is eight-tenths percent higher than the average for the month for the past five years, according to statistics from the MDES.

Seasonal layoffs of non-contract school employees along with the remaining influx of students into the labor force helped to push Mississippi’s jobless rate to 8.5 percent in July 2008.

A drop of 2,100 in the number of employed individuals led to the new unemployment rate.  An already crowded labor market simply could not absorb all those seeking work as the number of unemployed rose by 8,600 when compared to June.

The July 2008 rate of 8.5 percent was 1.5 percentage points higher than the year ago rate of 7.0 percent.

Nationally the unadjusted rate also showed an increase over the month, rising from 5.7 percent to 6 percent and also over the year from the July 2007 rate of 4.9 percent. When adjusted for seasonal factors the national rate showed a slight change over the month, going from 5.5 to 5.7 percent.

Yalobusha County’s labor force in July was reported by the MDES at 5,430 with 560 unemployed.

Labor force movements in local areas around the state followed the statewide trend with most areas unemployment rates increasing over the month. For July 2008 Jefferson County posted the highest rate of unemployment at 18.2 percent, followed by Holmes County at 16.4 percent. The trend continued for counties with the lowest rate of unemployment as Rankin County recorded the lowest rate at 5.4 percent followed by DeSoto County at 5.7 percent.

“If past trends hold true, August should bring some relief from rising joblessness as student job seekers exit the labor force and school employees return to work,” said Wayne Gasson, Director, Office of Public Information for MDES.

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