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Jobless Rate Eases Up Again

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – Yalobusha County’s July unemployment rate is up, but only one-tenth of a percentage point over the June rate.
The latest figures from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security show that Yalobusha County’s July unemployment rate of 10 percent is well above the state average of 8.6 percent.
According to MDES, 4,920 people were employed during the month out of a labor force of 5,470 as compared to 4,990 employed during June out of a labor force of 5,540. A year ago in July 2013, 4,960 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 July 2009, the unemployment rate was at a high of 16.4 percent. The lowest rate during the period was 9.5 percent in July 2013.
In comparison to the five surrounding counties, the Yalobusha unemployment rate was less than Panola (11.1) and Tallahatchie (10.3) but more than Calhoun (9.3), Grenada (7.8) and Lafayette (7).
Initial unemployment insurance claims went up over the month from 34 in June to 43 in July. And, continuing claims went down from 540 in June to 482 in July.
The July 2014 initial claims (43) are less than the 53 in July 2013, and the continuing claims are considerably lower (482) than the year ago figure of 545.
MDES paid $81,811 in Yalobusha for unemployment benefits in July as compared to $81,675 a year ago.
Mississippi’s unadjusted unemployment rate for July 2014 was 8.6 percent, decreasing two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month’s rate of 8.8 percent.
When compared to the July 2013 rate of 9.1 percent, the rate decreased five-tenths of a percentage point. The number of unemployed decreased 2,900 over the month, while the employed total decreased 2,900 from the prior month.
The Nation’s unadjusted unemployment rate for July 2014 at 6.5 percent increased two-tenths of a percentage point over the month, but was 1.2 percentage points lower than the year ago rate of 7.7 percent.
For the month of July 2014, 28 counties in Mississippi posted unemployment rates less than the state’s rate of 8.6 percent. Rankin County posted the lowest unemployment rate for the month of July at 4.7 percent followed by Lamar County at 5.8 percent.
Holmes County had the highest unemployment rate for July at 19.0 percent followed by Tunica County at 18.4 percent.

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