By Jack Gurner
WATER VALLEY – Yalobusha County’s unemployment rate for February 2011 is down by four-tenths of a percentage point from January.
While that seems like only a small decrease in unemployment, the latest figures from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security show that there are currently 5290 people working in the county as opposed to 4750 last month.
That is an increase of 540 people employed based on a workforce of 6020. The labor force is defined as the estimated number of people eligible for work or actively looking for work.
The February report shows that there were 730 county residents without jobs during the month for a 12.1 percent unemployment rate.
That’s down 4 points from the 17.1 rate in February of 2010 when 900 people were jobless in the county. Five years ago in February of 2006, the rate was 7.8 percent.
In comparison to the five surrounding counties, Yalobusha’s unemployment rate was less than Tallahatchie’s (12.9) and Panola’s (12.2), but higher than Grenada’s (11.6), Calhoun’s (9.4), and Lafayette’s (8.5).
Initial unemployment insurance claims were down by 31 with 52 in February as compared to 83 in January. That is equal to the February 2010 claims. Continuing claims decreased from 922 in January to 623 in February.
Mississippi’s unadjusted unemployment rate for February was 10.4 percent, decreasing three-tenths of a percentage point from the prior month’s rate of 10.7 percent. The number of employed in the state increased 16,800 from January.
For the month of February 2011, only 23 counties in Mississippi posted unemployment rates less than or equal to the state’s rate of 10.4 percent.