By Jack Gurner
WATER VALLEY – The up and down cycle continues for Yalobusha County’s unemployment rate with a four-tenths of a point increase for December after a two-tenths decrease the previous month.
The Mississippi Department of Employment Security is reporting a 13.4 percent unemployment rate for Yalobusha in December.
However, in the same report the MDES is showing than ten less people were unemployed in December (670) versus November (680). The reason that the unemployment figure is higher is the labor force also went down in December by 70 people creating a higher percentage of unemployed.
There were 5,000 people in the labor force in December as opposed to 5,070 in November. The labor force is defined as the estimated number of people eligible for work or actively looking for work.
Yalobusha’s unemployment rate is also still higher than the five surrounding counties; Grenada (12.8), Tallahatchie (12.1), Panola (12.5), Lafayette (7.5), and Calhoun (10.2).
Initial unemployment insurance claims were up by eight with 146 in December as compared to 138 in November. That is up from 115 in December 2009. Continuing claims increased from 638 in November to 776 in December.
Mississippi’s unemployment rate for December 2010 was 9.7 percent, a decrease of one-tenth of a percentage point from the prior month’s rate of 9.8 percent.
The number of unemployed decreased 5,100 over the month, while the employed total increased 6,800 from the prior month.
For the month of December 2010, only 22 counties in Mississippi posted unemployment rates less than or equal to the state’s rate of 9.7 percent. Rankin County posted the lowest unemployment rate for the month of December at 6.0 percent.