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County’s Jobless Rate Continues To Push Higher

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – Unemployment is still on the rise in Yalobusha County, going from 9.3 percent in January to 9.4 percent in February.
The latest figures from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security show that the revised figures for January are pretty much the same as the unrevised figures released last month that showed 500 people were unemployed. The only difference is that the labor force was raised from 5380 to 5390 and the number of employed went from 4880 to 4890.
The labor force is defined by MDES as the estimated number of people eligible for work or actively looking for work. But, those figures don’t include people who have given up looking for work and are no longer participating in the labor force.
Just four years ago in February 2010, the unemployment rate was 14.5 percent. And, just last year, the rate was 10.3 percent.
In comparison to the five surrounding counties, the Yalobusha unemployment rate was less than Panola (10.3) and Tallahatchie (11.7); even with Calhoun (9.4); but more than Grenada (8.2) and Lafayette (5.7).
Initial unemployment insurance claims went down over the month, going from 60 in January to 34 in February. Continuing claims also went down from 655 in January to 558 in February.
The February 2014 initial claims (34) are just slightly lower than in February 2013 (37), but the continuing claims are higher (558) than the year ago figure (498).
Mississippi’s unadjusted unemployment rate for February 2014 was 8.0 percent, increasing one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month’s rate of 7.9 percent. When compared to the February 2013 rate of 9.4 percent, the rate decreased 1.4 percentage points.
The number of unemployed increased 1,100 over the month, while the employed total increased 700 from the prior month. The Nation’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February 2014 at 7.0 percent was unchanged over the month, but was 1.1 percentage points below the year ago rate of 8.1 percent.
For the month of February 2014, 27 counties in Mississippi posted unemployment rates less than or equal to the state’s rate of 8.0 percent. Rankin County posted the lowest unemployment rate for the month of February at 4.8 percent followed by Scott County at 5.5 percent. Tunica County had the highest unemployment rate for February at 17.3 percent followed by Clay County at 16.7 percent.

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