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County’s Jobless Rate Eases Down

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – Yalobusha County’s unemployment rate of 8.0 percent for October is down two-tenths of a percentage point over the September rate.
    The latest figures from the Mississippi Department
of Employment Security show that Yalobusha County’s October unemployment rate is seven-tenths of a point above the state average of 7.3 percent.
    According to MDES estimates, 5,020 people were employed during the month out of a labor force of 5,460 as compared to 5,010 em-ployed during September out of the same size labor force. A year ago in October, 5,010 people were employed out of a larger estimated labor force of 5,500.
    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 October 2009, the unemployment rate was at a high of 13.8 percent. The current rate is the lowest for October during the five-year period.
    In comparison to the five surrounding counties, the Yalobusha unemployment rate was less than Panola (9.8) and Tallahatchie (8.4) but higher than Calhoun (7.9), Grenada (7.3) and Lafayette (5.3).
    Initial unemployment insurance claims went up over the month from 28 to 32. And, continuing claims went down from 269 in September to 205 in October.
    The October 2014 initial claims (32) are considerably less than the 79 in October 2013, and the continuing claims are lower (205) than the year ago figure of 429.
    MDES paid $32,776 in Yalobusha for unemployment benefits in October as compared to $46,474 in September and $59,094 a year ago.
    Mississippi’s unadjusted unemployment rate for October 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 October 2013 rate of 8.2 percent, the rate decreased nine-tenths of a percentage point.
    The number of unemployed decreased 600 over the month, while the employed total decreased 7,200 from the prior month.
The Nation’s unadjusted unemployment rate for October 2014 at 5.5 percent decreased two-tenths of a percentage point over the month, and was 1.5 percentage point lower than the year ago rate of 7.0 percent.
    For the month of October 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 October.
 at 4.6 percent. Clay County had the highest unemployment rate for October at 15.1 percent.

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