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Statistics Show Decline In Jobs

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – Yalobusha County’s unemployment rate is continuing to fluctuate from month to month, going down 4.3 percentage points to 11.9 percent for August.

That’s down from 16.2 percent in July, according to the latest numbers from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

However, a lower unemployment figure doesn’t necessarily mean more jobs.

There were 4,410 people employed in Yalobusha County during July and 4,370 employed during August, according to the same MDES report. That’s 40 less jobs in August.

The difference is in the labor force, the estimated number of people eligible for work or actively looking for work. There were 5,260 people in the labor force during July and 4,960 in August.

The keywords are “statistics” and “estimates.” The Labor Market Information Department of the MDES operates statistical programs to capture and report economic information, according to their website. The information is based on estimates.

Also lowering the jobless rate was the traditional drop in unemployment at the start of a new school year.

The 11.9 percent rate is lower than the August 2009 rate of 16.9 percent. However, the average rate for August during the preceding four years was only 9.6 percent. But, the rate is still the highest of the five surrounding counties.

Initial unemployment insurance claims dropped from 114 in July to 60 in August. Continuing claims rose from 1677 in July to 1724 in August.

Mississippi’s unemployment rate for August 2010 was 8.8 percent, a decrease of 2.7 percentage points from the previous month’s rate of 11.5 percent. When compared to the August 2009 rate of 9.9 percent, the rate decreased 1.1 percentage points. The number of unemployed decreased 39,000 over the month, while the employed total decreased 200 from the prior month.

The Nation’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August 2010 at 9.5 percent was down two-tenths of a percentage point over the month, and was down one-tenth of a percentage point from the year ago rate of 9.6 percent.

For the month of August 2010, only twenty-two counties in Mississippi posted unemployment rates less than the state’s rate of 8.8 percent. Unemployment rates decreased over the month in all eighty-two counties.

Rankin County posted the lowest unemployment rate for the month of August at 5.1 percent. Five counties reported rates greater than 15.0 percent. Noxubee County had the highest unemployment rate for August at 18.5 percent.

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