The Clarion-Ledger Editorial, 3/6/9

The economic numbers just seem to get worse, and so does the pain they represent.

Mississippi’s unemployment rate now has topped 9.2 percent, rising from 7.6 percent in December. It’s worse than the national rate, which now stands at about 8.5 percent.

And it most likely will get worse before it gets better. State fiscal experts say it could reach up to 11 or 12 percent.

In Tunica County, it already is much worse. Tunica County has the highest jobless rate at 19.5 percent. Rankin has the lowest at 5.8, but if one is part of the 5.8 percent, that is not much comfort.

Mississippi, like all other states, is digging and clawing for jobs as employers continue to struggle and are forced to lay off workers or reduce their hours.

Ironically, the new painful numbers come after Gov. Haley Barbour announced he would not accept more than $52 million in expanded unemployment benefits coming from the federal stimulus package.