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Jobless Rate Drops A Point

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – Yalobusha County’s April unemployment rate of 8 percent was a drop of more than a point from the March rate of 9.3 percent.
But, the latest figures from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security show that Yalobusha County is still well above the April state average unemployment of 6.8 percent, putting us at 52 out of 82 counties.
According to MDES, 5,080 people were employed during the month out of a labor force of 5,520 as compared to 5,000 employed during March out of a labor force of 5,510. A year ago in April 2013, 5,120 people were employed.
The labor force is defined by MDES as the estimated number of people eligible for work or actively seeking employment. But, those figures don’t include people who have given up looking for work or are no longer participating in the labor force.
Five years ago in April 2010, the unemployment rate was at a high of 12.8 percent. This month’s rate is the lowest in the five-year period.
In comparison to the five surrounding counties, the Yalobusha unemployment rate was less than Panola (9) and Tallahatchie (9) but more than Calhoun (7.9), Grenada (6.7) and Lafayette (4.9).
Initial unemployment insurance claims remained the same over the month at 34 for March and April. But, continuing claims went down from 525 in March to 434 in April.
The April 2014 initial claims (43) are twice those of April 2013 (21) and the continuing claims are considerably higher (434) than the year ago figure (343).
Mississippi’s unadjusted unemployment rate for April 2014 was 6.8 percent, decreasing 1.2 percentage points from the previous month’s rate of 8 percent. When compared to the April 2013 rate of 8.1 percent, the rate decreased 1.3 percentage points.
The number of unemployed decreased 15,100 over the month, while the employed total increased 6,000 from the prior month.
The Nation’s unadjusted unemployment rate for April 2014 at 5.9 percent was down nine-tenths of a percentage point over the month, and 1.2 percentage points from the year ago rate of 7.1 percent.
For the month of April 2014, 28 counties in Missis-sippi posted unemployment rates less than or equal to the state’s rate of 6.8 percent. Rankin County posted the lowest unemployment rate for the month of April at 4.2 percent followed by Scott County at 4.6 percent.
Issaquena County had the highest unemployment rate for April at 16.3 percent followed by Clay County at 14.7 percent.

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