Webster County jobless rate up

By Russell Hood
The Webster Progress-Times

Webster County’s unemployment rate jumped to 14.8 percent in January,
up 1.5 percentage points from the same month a year ago.

The jobless rate here was 13.3 percent in January 2012 and 12 percent
in December. The last time the county’s jobless rate was higher than
January’s was in July 2011, when it reached 14.9 percent.

The Mississippi Department of Employment Security reported figures
March 13. The report is based on a county labor force of 3,420
workers, with 510 people without jobs. The labor force was 3,610 in
December.

Webster County’s highest unemployment rate for January came in 2010 ,
when it reached 17,9 percent, according to MDES statistics. The
lowest rate for the month was in 1974, when it dropped to 4.1 percent.

The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the state
was 9.3 percent, up from 8.6 percent the month before. A year ago,
the rate for January 2012 was 10 percent.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January was 7.9
percent. County jobless rates are not seasonally adjusted.

Rankin County’s 6.6 percent remained the lowest jobless rate. Tunica
County moved into the highest unemployment rate at 20.9 percent. Of
the state’s 82 counties, 60 had jobless rates above the state average.

January jobless rates in adjoining counties:
• Oktibbeha, 11.1 percent.
• Choctaw, 11.3 percent.
• Grenada, 11.6 percent.
• Calhoun, 12 percent.
• Chickasaw, 13.4 percent.
• Montgomery, 13.9 percent
• Clay, 20.6 percent.

MDES offers free job search assistance to people searching for jobs
or looking for better jobs. Individuals can obtain assistance from
the Mobile WIN Job Center or by visiting the agency website at
mdes.ms.gov.