WATER VALLEY – Unemployment continued to drop just a little over the month of December, going from 8.4 percent in November to 8.1 percent.
The most recent figures from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security show that 5,200 people were employed in December with 460 out of work as compared to 480 in November.
The labor force remained the same from November to December at 5660. The labor force is defined by MDES as the estimated number of people eligible for work or actively looking for work.
Just four years before, in December 2009, the unemployment rate was 14.1 percent. And, just one year before, in December 2012, the rate was 9.2, a point higher than the December 2013 rate, which at 8.1 is the lowest rate in the five-year period.
In comparison to the five surrounding counties, the Yalobusha unemployment rate was less than Panola (9.5), Tallahatchie (10.3) and Calhoun (8.5); but more than Grenada (7.5) and Lafayette (5.4).
Initial unemployment insurance claims went up in December, going from 49 to 83. Continuing claims went up, going from 477 in November to 636 in December.
The December 2013 initial claims (83) are much less than the initial claims in December 2012 (132). But, the December 2013 continuing claims (636) are a little more than in December 2012 at 608.
Mississippi’s unadjusted unemployment rate for December 2013 was 7.3 percent, decreasing three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month’s rate of 7.6 percent.