Unemployment rate sees drop

By Russell Hood The Webster Progress-Times

Webster County reported a 11.7 unemployment percent in March, compared to a 12.8 percent rate in February and 14.1 percent last March. The county’s labor force was at 3,410 in March, compared to 3,440 in February, according to figures from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. The number of people listed as unemployed was 400 in March, compared to 440 in February. The number of people employed was 3,010, while the previous month’s figure was 3,000. The county saw 34 initial claims for unemployment benefits in March, compared to 39 the previous month. There were 307 continued claims for benefits in March and 301 a month earlier. Statistics from the MDES, which date back to January 1970, show the county’s highest unemployment rate for March came in 1975, when it reached 19 percent. The lowest rate for the month was in 1973, when it dropped to 3.4 percent. In comparison to the seven surrounding counties, the Webster unemployment rate for March was less than Clay (15 percent) but more than Calhoun (8.6), Oktibbeha (8.7), Grenada (9.3), Chickasaw (9.6), Choctaw (10.1) and Montgomery (11.5). Mississippi’s not-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March was at 8.7 percent while the nationwide unemployment rate was 8.4 percent.