Jobless Rate Drops Slightly

Unemployment percentages for Yalobusha and the five surrounding counties.

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – Unemployment dropped a little over the month of August, going from 8.9 percent in July to 8.6 percent.
The most recent figures from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security show that 5,180 people were employed in August with 490 out of work as compared to 510 in July.
The labor force remained the same at 5,670 for both months. 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 August 2009, the unemployment rate was 14.3 percent. And, just one year before that in August 2008, the rate was 5.6 points less at 8.7 percent. The current rate is less than in August for the past five years.
In comparison to the five surrounding counties, the Yalobusha unemployment rate was less than Panola (10.7), Tallahatchie (10.9) and Calhoun (9.8); but more than Grenada (8.5) and Lafayette (6.6).
Initial unemployment insurance claims remained steady in July and August at 53. Continuing claims were down, going from 545 in July to 476 in August.
The August 2013 initial claims (53) are lower than the initial claims in August 2012 (64). But, the August 2013 continuing claims (476) are less than in August 2012 (529).
Mississippi’s unadjusted unemployment rate for August 2013 was 8.4 percent, decreasing two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month’s rate of 8.6 percent. When compared to the August 2012 rate of 9.1 percent, the rate decreased seven-tenths of a percentage point.
The number of unemployed decreased 4,900 over the month, while the employed total decreased 14,500 from the prior month. The Nation’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August 2013 at 7.3 percent was down four-tenths of a percentage point over the month, and was nine-tenths of a percentage point below the year ago rate of 8.2 percent.
For the month of August 2013, only twenty-seven counties in Mississippi posted unemployment rates less than the state’s rate of 8.4 percent. Rankin County posted the lowest unemployment rate for the month of August at 4.7 percent. Three counties reported rates greater than 15.0 percent. Clay County had the highest unemployment rate for August at 18.3 percent.

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