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Jobless Rate Is On The Rise

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – Yalobusha County’s May unemployment rate is up 1.5 points over the April rate with 60 more people out of work.
The latest figures from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security show that Yalobusha County’s May unemployment rate of 9.5 percent is well above the state average of 8 percent.
According to MDES, 5,030 people were employed during the month out of a labor force of 5,560 as compared to 5,090 employed during April out of a labor force of 5,530. A year ago in May 2013, 5,070 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 May 2009, the unemployment rate was at a high of 15.9 percent. The lowest rate during the period was 9.4 percent shared by May 2013 and 2012.
In comparison to the five surrounding counties, the Yalobusha unemployment rate was less than Panola (10.5) and Tallahatchie (10.5) but more than Calhoun (9.0), Grenada (7.7) and Lafayette (6.3).
Initial unemployment insurance claims went up over the month from 43 in April to 63 in May. And, continuing claims went up from 434 in April to 440 in May.
The May 2014 initial claims (63) are less than the 100 in May 2013 and the continuing claims are considerably higher (440) than the year ago figure (371).
Mississippi paid $76,205 in unemployment benefits in May as compared to $50,403 a year ago.
Mississippi unadjusted unemployment rate for May 2014 was 8.0 percent, increasing 1.2 percentage points from the previous month’s rate of 6.8 percent. When compared to the May 2013 rate of 8.9 percent, the rate decreased 0.9 percentage points.
The number of unemployed decreased 15,100 over the month, while the employed total decreased 2,400 from the prior month.
The nation’s unadjusted unemployment rate for May 2014 at 6.1 percent increased two-tenths of a percentage point over the month, but was 1.2 percentage points lower than the year ago rate of 7.3 percent.
For the month of May 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 May at 4.8 percent followed by Jones, Lamar and Madison Counties at 5.7 percent.

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