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Jobless Rate Declines

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – Unemployment went down about half a percentage point over the month of October for Yalobusha County.
The latest figures from the Mississippi Department of Employment Services show 8.8 percent unemployment for the county in October, down from September’s 9.4 percent.
The MDES estimates that 5550 people were employed during October, up from 5440 in September. The labor force increased over the month as well, going from 6010 in September to 6080 in October. 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 October 2009, the unemployment rate was 13.8 percent. And, just two years before that in October 2007, the rate was almost half that at 7.4 percent.
In comparison to the five surrounding counties, the Yalobusha unemployment rate was less than Panola (10.3), Tallahatchie (9.7) and Grenada (9.0), but more than Calhoun (8.2) and Lafayette (5.9).
Initial unemployment insurance claims almost doubled over the month, going from 49 in September to 97 in October. Continuing claims fell from 479 in September to 429 in October. That is more initial claims than a year ago when there were 78, but less than the 581 continuing claims.
Mississippi’s unadjusted unemployment rate for October was 8.3 percent, decreasing eight-tenths of a percentage point from the September rate of 9.1 percent. When compared to the year ago rate of 10.6 percent, the rate decreased 2.3 percentage points. Over the month, the number of unemployed decreased 10,400, while the employed total increased 12,000.
The Nation’s unadjusted unemployment rate for October at 7.5 percent was down one-tenth of a percentage point from the prior month and one percentage point from the year ago rate of 8.5 percent.
For the month of October, only twenty-six counties in Mississippi posted unemployment rates less than or equal to the state’s rate of 8.3 percent. Rankin County posted the lowest unemployment rate for the month at 5.2 percent and Clay County had the highest rate at 16.4 percent.

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