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County’s Jobless Rate Drops

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – Yalobusha County’s unemployment rate for August dropped 1.3 points over the July rate.
The latest figures from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security show that Yalobusha County’s August unemployment rate of 8.7 percent is also 1.3 points above the state average of 7.4 percent.
According to MDES, 4,950 people were employed during the month out of a labor force of 5,420 as compared to 4,930 employed during July out of a labor force of 5,580. A year ago in August 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 August 2009, the unemployment rate was at a high of 14.4 percent. The lowest rate during the period was 8.8 percent in August 2013.
In comparison to the five surrounding counties, the Yalobusha unemployment rate was less than Panola (9.6) but more than Tallahatchie (8.6), Calhoun (8.1), Grenada (6.8) and Lafayette (5.7).
Initial unemployment insurance claims went down over the month from 43 in July to 28 in August. And, continuing claims went down from 482 in July to 435 in August.
The August 2014 initial claims (28) are almost half the 53 in August 2013, and the continuing claims are lower (435) than the year ago figure of 476.
MDES paid $60,782 in Yalobusha for unemployment benefits in August as compared to $69,050 a year ago.
Mississippi’s unadjusted unemployment rate for August 2014 was 7.4 percent, decreasing 1.2 percentage points from the previous month’s rate of 8.6 percent. When compared to the August 2013 rate of 8.3 percent, the rate decreased nine-tenths of a percentage point.
The number of unemployed decreased 17,500 over the month, while the employed total decreased 13,600 from the prior month.
The Nation’s unadjusted unemployment rate for August 2014 at 6.3 percent decreased two-tenths of a percentage point over the month, and was one percentage point lower than the year ago rate of 7.3 percent.
For the month of August 2014, twenty-nine counties in Mississippi posted unemployment rates less than or equal to the state’s rate of 7.4 percent.
Rankin County posted the lowest unemployment rate for the month of August at 4.4 percent. Clay County had the highest unemployment rate for August at 15.7 percent.

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