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County’s Jobless Rate Drops Half A Point In September

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – Yalobusha County’s unemployment rate for September dropped half a point over the August rate.
    The latest figures from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security show that Yalobusha County’s September unemployment rate of 8.1 percent  eight-tenths of a point above the state average of 7.3 percent.
    According to MDES, 5,010 people were employed during the month out of a labor force of 5,450 as compared to 4,940 employed during August out of a labor force of 5,410. A year ago in September 2013, 5,030 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 September 2009, the unemployment rate was at a high of 14.0 percent. The current rate is the lowest during the five-year period.
    In comparison to the five surrounding counties, the Yalobusha unemployment rate was less than Panola (9.7) and Tallahatchie (8.5) but higher than Calhoun (7.9), Grenada (7.2) and Lafayette (5.4).
    Initial unemployment insurance claims remained the same over the month at 28. And, continuing claims went down considerably from 435 in August to 269 in September.
    The September 2014 initial claims (28) are also considerably less than the 71 in September 2013, and the continuing claims are lower (269) than the year ago figure of 490.
    MDES paid $46,474 in Yalobusha for unemployment benefits in September as compared to $60,782 in August and $71,793 a year ago.
    Mississippi’s unadjusted unemployment rate for September 2014 was 7.3 percent, decreasing one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month’s rate of 7.4 percent. When compared to the September 2013 rate of 8.4 percent, the rate decreased 1.1 percentage points.
    The number of unemployed decreased 600 over the month, while the employed total decreased 6,000 from the prior month.
The Nation’s unadjusted unemployment rate for September 2014 at 5.7 percent decreased six-tenths of a percentage point over the month, and was 1.3 percentage point lower than the year ago rate of 7 percent.
    For the month of September 2014, 27 counties in Mississippi posted unemployment rates less than or equal to the state’s rate of 7.3 percent.
    Rankin County posted the lowest unemployment rate for the month of September at 4.8 percent. Clay County had the highest unemployment rate for September at 15.1 percent.

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