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Jobless Rate In County Is Up Slightly

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – Unemployment is up slightly over the month of September for Yalobusha County.
The latest figures from the Mississippi Department of Employment Services show 9.4 percent unemployment for the county in September, up by just .3 of a percentage point over August’s 9.1 percent.
The MDES estimates actually show that 110 more people were employed during September, 5450 vs. 5340 in August. But, the labor force increased from 5880 to 6020, creating the statistical drop.
The labor force is defined by MDES as the estimated number of people eligible for work or actively looking for work.
Just three years ago in September 2009, the unemployment rate was 13.7 percent. And, just two years before that in September 2007, the rate was almost half that at 7.2 percent.
In comparison to the five surrounding counties, the Yalobusha unemployment rate was less than Panola (11.0) and Tallahatchie (10.7), equal to Grenada (9.4), and more than Calhoun (9.1) and Lafayette (6.6).
Initial unemployment insurance claims for September (49) were less than August (64).
Continuing claims fell from 529 in August to 479 in September. That is less initial claims than a year ago when there were 51, but more than the 399 continuing claims.
Mississippi’s unadjusted unemployment rate for September was 9.0 percent, increasing five-tenths of a percentage point from the August rate of 8.5 percent. When compared to the year ago rate of 10.8 percent, the rate decreased 1.8 percentage points. Over the month, the number of unemployed increased 7,100, while the employed total increased 1,700.
The Nation’s unadjusted unemployment rate for September at 7.6 percent was down six-tenths of a percentage point from the prior month, and 1.2 percentage points from the year ago rate of 8.8 percent.
For the month of September, only twenty-two counties in Mississippi posted unemployment rates less than the state’s rate of 9.0 percent.
Rankin County posted the lowest unemployment rate for the month at 5.9 percent. Four counties reported rates greater than 15.0 percent. Clay County had the highest unemployment rate at 17.1 percent.

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