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County’s Unemployment Rate Remains Steady At 12.9 Percent

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – Yalobusha County’s unemployment is holding steady as she goes, according to latest numbers from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

The March rate of 12.9 percent is same as the revised numbers for February. Yalobusha County was still higher than the five surrounding counties, but not by much. The county dropped from 19th highest unemployment in the state to 20th.

The numbers also show that the county’s labor force is down by 30, going from 5590 in February to 5560 in March. There were 720 unemployed seeking jobs in March compared with 440 in March of 2008. The five-year average unemployment for the month is 8.5 percent.

Labor force conditions for the state changed very little between February and March, with the unemployment rate inching upward by only one-tenth of a point. Mississippi’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate went from 9.3 percent in February to 9.4 percent in March.

The March 2009 rate was higher than one year ago when the rate was 6.1 percent. The unemployed total increased by a mere 400 while the number of employed persons decreased 5,300.

Results from Mississippi’s nonfarm employment survey, which is counted by the location of establishments, reported a not seasonally adjusted increase of 6,700 in employment over the month but a decrease of 38,000 from one year ago. Industry sectors registering the largest monthly employment gains were trade, transportation and utilities; leisure and hospitality; and educational & health services.

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

For the month of March, twenty-nine counties in Mississippi posted unemployment rates less than or equal to the state’s rate of 9.4 percent. Lamar and Rankin Counties posted the lowest unemployment rate for the month of March at 6.0 percent followed by neighboring Lafayette County at 6.5 percent.

Thirty-seven counties’ unemployment rate declined or showed no change over the month. Forty-seven counties reported double-digit rates for the month with eight counties reporting rates greater than or equal to 15.0 percent, according to MDES officials.

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