Jobless Rate Increases In May

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – Unemployment is up in Yalobusha County by a little more than a percentage point, going from 8.3 in April to 9.5 in May.
The most recent figures from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security show that 5,240 people were employed in May with 550 out of work as compared to 480 in April.
The labor force also went down, going from 5,800 in April to 5,790 in May. The labor force is defined by MDES as the estimated number of people eligible for work or actively looking for work.
Just four years ago in May 2009, the unemployment rate was 15.8 percent. And, just one year before that in May 2008, the rate was 7.4 points less at 8.4 percent.
In comparison to the five surrounding counties, the Yalobusha unemployment rate was less than Panola (12), Tallahatchie (12.5), Calhoun (10.3) and Grenada (9.6); but more than Lafayette (7.3).
Initial unemployment insurance claims jumped considerably in May, going from 41 in April to 100 in May. Continuing claims also went up, going from 343 in April to 371 in May.
The May 2013 initial claims (100) are more than in May 2012 (85). But, the May 2013 continuing claims (371) are less than in May 2012 (431).
Less was paid in unemployment insurance claims in May 2013 ($50,403) than in April 2013 ($59,720). Those figures are both less than the $65,320 paid out in May 2012.
Mississippi’s unadjusted unemployment rate for May 2013 was 9.2 percent, increasing one percentage point from the previous month’s rate of 8.2 percent.
Overall, the number of unemployed increased 12,900 over the month, while the employed total decreased 14,800 from the prior month. But, the state did show a gain in employment of 1,400 in the leisure and hospitality industry and in construction.
The Nation’s unadjusted unemployment rate for May 2013 at 7.3 percent was up two-tenths of a percentage point over the month.
For the month of May 2013, only twenty-seven counties in Mississippi posted unemployment rates less than or equal to the state’s rate of 9.2 percent. Rankin County posted the lowest unemployment rate for the month of May at 5.5 percent.
Seven counties reported rates greater than 15.0 percent. Clay County had the highest unemployment rate for May at 18.5 percent.

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