By Russell Hood
The Webster Progress-Times
Webster County saw its unemployment rate fall six-tenths of a percentage point in March, according to Mississippi Department of Employment Security data.
March’s unemployment rate was 6.1 percent, compared to 6.7 percent (revised) in February. The jobless rate was 7 percent in March 2015.
The number of unemployed people in the county dropped from 270 in February to 240 in March. The labor force — the number of people either working or looking for work — dropped by 60 to 3,920.
Webster posted the 40th lowest rate out of the state’s 82 counties. March’s jobless rate was the lowest for the county since April 2015, when it was 5.9 percent.
The county has a 12-month moving average unemployment rate of 7.3 percent. MDES statistics from 1990 forward show the county’s highest unemployment rate for March came in 2002, when it reached 16.7 percent. The lowest rate for that period was in 1998, when it dropped to 4.9 percent.
Mississippi’s unemployment rate was 6.3 percent in March and the national average was 5 percent, both seasonally adjusted. Rankin County posted the lowest unemployment rate for the month at 3.7 percent while Issaquena had the highest at 17.7percent.
March jobless rates in adjoining counties: • Oktibbeha, 4.9 percent. • Grenada, 5 percent. • Calhoun, 5.2 percent. • Choctaw, 5.4 percent. • Chickasaw, 5.9 percent. • Montgomery, 7 percent. • Clay, 7.5 percent.