WATER VALLEY – Unemployment went up almost a point and a half in Yalobusha County during December even though the number of employed increased by ten.
The latest estimates from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security show a 9.5 percent unemployment rate, up from November’s 8.1 percent.
But, the MDES figures also show that 5420 people were employed during December as compared to 5410 in November. The reason for the increase in the unemployment rate is the estimated increase in the labor force, which went from 5890 in November to 5990 in December.
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 December 2009, the unemployment rate was 13.9 percent. And, just two years before that in December 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 (11.2), Tallahatchie (11.3) and Grenada (10.2), but more than Calhoun (9.3) and Lafayette (7.3).
Initial unemployment insurance claims went up over the month, going from 113 in November to 132 in December. Continuing claims went up from 472 in November to 608 in December. That is more initial claims than a year ago when there were 101, but less than the 665 continuing claims.
Mississippi’s unadjusted unemployment rate for December was 9.1 percent, increasing 1.6 percentage points from the November rate of 7.5 percent.
Over the month, the number of unemployed increased 23,800, while the employed total increased 1,900. The nation’s unadjusted unemployment rate for December at 7.6 percent was up two-tenths of a percentage point from the prior month, but was seven-tenths of a percentage point lower than the year ago rate of 8.3 percent.
For the month of December, only 24 counties in Mississippi posted unemployment rates less than the state’s rate of 9.1 percent.