By Jack Gurner
WATER VALLEY – Yalobusha County’s unemployment rate eased down slightly in February, according to latest numbers from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.
The February rate was 13 percent compared to the revised figure of 14.7 in January. However, Yalobusha County was still higher than the five surrounding counties by at least a percentage point and was 19th highest in the state.
MDES figures showed Yalobusha County’s labor force in February at 5610 with 730 unemployed. The month before, 830 were unemployed. A year ago in February, 440 were unemployed.
Labor force conditions for the state changed very little between January and February, with the unemployment rate inching downward one-tenth of a point. Mississippi’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate went from 9.3 percent in January to 9.2 percent in February.
The February 2009 rate was higher than one year ago when the rate was 5.9 percent. The Nation’s unemployment rate increased over the month from 8.5 to 8.9 percent for February and was elevated significantly when compared to the year ago rate of 5.2 percent.
Results from Mississippi’s nonfarm employment survey, which is counted by the location of establishments, reported a not seasonally adjusted decrease of 3,700 in employment over the month and 40,600 from one year ago.
Industry sectors registering significant employment losses were Construction and Manufacturing. Over the year the largest employment decreases were noted in Manufacturing; Trade, Transportation and Utilities; and Professional and Business Services.
For the month of February 2009, twenty-eight counties in Mississippi posted unemployment rates less than or equal to the state’s rate of 9.2 percent. Lamar and Rankin Counties posted the lowest unemployment rate for the month of February at 6.0 percent followed by neighboring Lafayette County at 6.3 percent.
Fifty-seven counties showed either rate decreases or no change. Forty-seven counties reported double-digit rates for the month with nine counties reporting rates greater than or equal to 15.0 percent, MDES officials said.