Jobless rate at 10.5%

By Russell Hood The Webster Progress-Times

Webster County’s unemployment rate of 10.5 percent in April was the lowest rate seen here in more than three years. The last time the county’s jobless rate was lower in December 2008, when it dipped to 10.2 percent.

Webster saw its unemployment rate at 11.7 percent in March and 13.2 percent in April 2011.

Out of a labor force of 3,420, Webster County had 360 unemployed in April. This compares to a labor force of 3,410 in March, when 400 were unemployed.

Statistics from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, which date back to January 1970, show the county’s highest unemployment rate for April came in 1982, when it reached 20.2 percent.

The lowest rate for the month was in 1972, when it dropped to 3.3 percent.

Only 27 counties in Mississippi posted unemployment rates less than or equal to the state’s seasonally unadjusted rate of 8.3 percent. The unemployment rate decreased or was unchanged in all but five counties.

Rankin County posted the lowest unemployment rate for April at 5.2 percent. Holmes County had the highest unemployment rate at 14.9 percent.

In comparison to the seven surrounding counties, Webster County’s unemployment rate for April was less than Montgomery (10.8) and Clay (14.6 percent) but more than Calhoun (8.1), Oktibbeha (8.2), Grenada (8.7), Chickasaw (9.5) and Choctaw (9.7).

The nationwide unemployment rate was 7.7 percent in April.