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Yalobusha Unemployment Approaches Double Digits

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – Yalobusha County’s unemployment rate for September fell half a percentage point from August but rose 2.2 percent from September of last year, according to the latest figures released by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

The September figure of 9.3 percent unemployment is 1.5 percent higher than the average for the month for the past five years, according to statistics from the MDES.

Mississippi’s unadjusted unemployment rate for September was 7.4 percent, falling 0.3 percent over the month of August when the rate stood at 7.7 percent.

Over the month decreases were also noted in the number of employed and unemployed individuals; the number of unemployed fell by 4,300 while employment declined by 3,700.

The September 2008 rate of 7.4 percent was 1.3 percentage points higher than the year ago rate of 6.1 percent.

Comparable figures for the nation showed unadjusted unemployment rates of 6 percent for September, 6.1 percent for August, and 4.5 percent for September of last year.

Yalobusha County’s labor force in September was reported by the MDES at 5,380 with 500 unemployed.

Labor force conditions across the state generally followed the state trend with most counties seeing their rates decline over the month. Rankin County reported the lowest unemployment rate in the state for the month of September 2008 at 4.8 percent followed by Lafayette County at 5.0 percent.

The average weekly unemployment insurance benefit for September was $177.51. The total for the month was $15,582,380. That compares to $9,666,216 in September of 2007.

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