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Jobless Rate Soars To 22-Year High

WATER VALLEY – Yalobusha County’s unemployment reached 16.4 percent in May, the highest rate in 22 years.

    In late 1986, unemployment in the county topped out at 21.1 percent before dropping to 7.5 percent by the end of 1987.

    The current rate is double that of a year ago when unemployment for May 2008 was 8.6, according to figures from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

    The county’s unemployment is the highest in the northern part of the state and the 7th highest in Mississippi. The number of employed in the county is 4,850 out of a total labor force of 5800.

    Largely affected by seasonal influences, Mississippi’s May not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased over the month, from 8.6 percent in April to 9.6 percent. The rate was significantly higher than one year ago when the May 2008 rate was 6.9 percent.

    The unemployed total increased by 14,300 while the number of employed persons decreased 6,500. The Nation’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased over the month from 8.6 to 9.1 percent for May 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 1,300 in employment over the month and a decrease of 40,200 from one year ago.

    For the month of May 2009, only twenty-four counties in Mississippi posted unemployment rates less than or equal to the state’s rate of 9.6 percent. Rankin County posted the lowest unemployment rate for the month of May at 6.0 percent followed by Lamar County at 6.4 percent.

    Unemployment rates increased or remained the same in all but two counties. Fifty-four counties reported double-digit rates for the month with seven counties reporting rates greater than or equal to 15.0 percent.

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