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County’s Jobless Rate Increases

Staff Report

WATER VALLEY – Yalobusha County’s unemployment rate went up in April while the statewide rate went down.

Yalobusha and Wayne were the only two counties in Mississippi showing an increase in unemployment for the month, according to latest numbers from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

The county rate is 13.7 percent, which is up almost a point from the March rate of 12.9 percent. Mississippi’s unemployment rate decreased over the month, from 9.4 percent in March to 8.6 percent, which is usual for April, MDES officials said.

However, even with the decrease, the rate is elevated significantly when compared to the 4.8 percent from April of last year.

When adjusted for seasonal factors, the national rate increased over the month from 8.5 to 8.9 percent for April and was almost four percentage points higher than the April 2008 rate of 5 percent.

Yalobusha County’s 13.7 percent rate was the highest of any county in the northern third of the state and the 7th highest in Mississippi.

The numbers also show that the county’s labor force is up by 60, going from 5560 in March to 5620 in April. There were 770 unemployed seeking jobs in April compared with 390 in April of 2008. The average unemployment for the five previous years is 7.5 percent for the month.

Results from Mississippi’s nonfarm employment survey reported a not seasonally adjusted increase of 3,100 in employment over the month but a decrease of 39,400 from one year ago.

Industry sectors registering the largest monthly employment gains were construction, and leisure and hospitality. Over the year the largest employment decreases were noted in manufacturing; professional and business services; trade; transportation and utilities; and leisure and hospitality.

For the month of April, 25 counties in Mississippi posted unemployment rates less than or equal to the state’s rate of 8.6 percent.

Rankin County posted the lowest unemployment rate for the month of April at 5.4 percent followed by Lamar County at 5.5 percent and Scott County at 5.9 percent. Thirty-five counties still reported double-digit rates for the month with five counties reporting rates greater than or equal to 15.0 percent.

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