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County’s Jobless Rate Continues Upward Spiral

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – Unemployment continues to rise in Yalobusha County topping last month’s 22-year high and holding steady as the seventh highest in the state.

The June rate of 16.6 percent is not quite double that of a year ago when unemployment for June 2008 was 9.4 percent, according to the latest figures from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

Yalobusha’s unemployment is the highest in the northern third of the state. In four of the five surrounding counties unemployment went down in June. Only Lafayette County showed a similar four-tenths of a percentage point rise, but their overall rate is almost half that of Yalobusha County.

The number of unemployed in the county is 960 compared to 520 a year ago. The average rate for the preceding five years is 9.1 percent.

Mississippi’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for June 2009 was 9.8 percent, increasing slightly over the previous month’s rate of 9.7 percent. When compared to the June 2008 rate of 7.7 percent, the rate increased over two percentage points.

The number of unemployed increased 1,500 over the month while the employed total showed no change from the prior month.

The Nation’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased over the month from 9.1 to 9.7 percent for June 2009 and was four percentage points higher than the year ago rate of 5.7 percent.

For the month of June 2009, only 25 counties in Mississippi posted unemployment rates less than or equal to the state’s rate of 9.8 percent. Rankin County posted the lowest unemployment rate for the month of June at 6.2 percent followed by Lamar County at 6.9 percent.

Fifty-four counties reported double-digit rates for the month with seven counties reporting rates greater than 15 percent. Jefferson County posted the highest unemployment rate for the month at 20 percent.

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