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County’s Jobless Rate Continues To Increase

WATER VALLEY – Yalobusha County’s unemployment rate continued to climb in January reaching 14.6 percent for the month, according to latest numbers from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

Unemployment in Yalobusha County was also higher than the five surrounding counties by at least two percentage points and was the twelfth highest in the state.

 MDES figures showed Yalobusha County’s labor force in January at 5670 with 830 unemployed. The month before, 660 were unemployed.

Mississippi’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased sharply in January to 9.2 percent as the Nation’s unemployment rate continued to trend upward over the month for a January rate of 8.5 percent, the MDES reported.

Results from Mississippi’s nonfarm employment survey, which is counted by the location of establishments, reported a significant decrease of 14,700 in employment over the month and 30,700 from one year ago.

The largest employment losses were noted over the month in trade, transportation and utilities; manufacturing; leisure and hospitality; government; and financial activities.

Over the year the largest employment decreases were noted in manufacturing; trade, transportation and utilities; and professional and business services, MDES officials said.

Once again, unemployment rates increased over the month in all eighty-two counties.  Rankin County posted the lowest jobless rate for the month of January at 5.8 percent, followed by Lamar County at 5.9 percent.  Twenty-nine counties reported unemployment rates equal to or lower than the state’s rate of 9.2 percent while forty-six counties reported double digit rates for the month.

As it stands, prospects of an early improvement due to a continuous down slop in jobs and businesses cannot be measured, according to the MDES.

Benefits Increased

A program to increase the weekly unemployment benefits by $25 for individuals who are eligible to receive regular unemployment compensation and other Federal unemployment benefits has been signed into law by the President.  

The American Recovery and Reinvestment act of 2009 creates a new 100 percent federally funded program known as the Federal Additional Compensation (FAC) program.  Since then, Governor Haley Barbour has signed the agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor which will expedite Mississippi’s participation in this effort, the MDES reported.

The additional $25 amount is in addition to the weekly benefit amount that the individual is eligible to receive based on the State Workforce Agencies’ benefit formula.  The payment will be automatic and the individual will not be required to apply for the additional $25.

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