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Jobless Rate In February Remains High

Staff Report

WATER VALLEY – Yalobusha County’s unemployment rate dropped slightly going from 17.2 percent in January to 16.9 percent in February.

Unemployment in the county is still the highest it has been for February in the past five years, topping the February 2009 rate by 4 percentage points. And, it is more than double the February 2006 rate of 7.8 percent, according to the latest numbers released by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

The 16.9 percent figure is also the highest for the five surrounding counties and is 17th highest in the state, dropping from 13th place in January. The figures are based on the county of residence.

Mississippi’s unemployment rate for February was 12.0 percent, decreasing one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month’s adjusted rate of 12.1 percent. When compared to the February 2009 rate of 9.3 percent, the rate increased 2.7 percentage points.

The Nation’s unemployment rate for February at 10.4 percent was down two-tenths of a percentage point over the month, but was 1.5 percentage points higher than the year ago rate of 8.9 percent.

Results from Mississippi’s nonfarm employment survey, which is counted by the location of establishments, reported an increase of 4,000 in employment over the month, but a decrease of 26,200 from one year ago.

Industry sectors registering the largest monthly employment gains were educational and health services; government; leisure and hospitality; and professional and business services.

For the month of February, only twenty-two counties in Mississippi posted unemployment rates less than or equal to the state’s rate of 12.0 percent. Unemployment rates decreased or remained unchanged over the month in sixty counties.

Rankin County posted the lowest unemployment rate for the month of February at 7.9 percent followed by Madison County at 8.5 percent. Thirty counties reported rates greater than or equal to 15.0 percent with five counties reporting rates greater than 20.0 percent. Noxubee County had the highest unemployment rate for February at 23.3 percent.

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